NASA’s New Mission
When the two famous Voyager spacecrafts were launched in 1977, their original mission meant to last only five years. But thanks to the radioisotope thermoelectric generators on board; 50 years later, Voyager 1 and 2 are still functional, providing some crucial information such as the composition, levels of the gas and radiation that fills interstellar space.
These radioisotope thermoelectric generators uses the fact that radioactive materials (such as plutonium) generate heat as they decay naturally. The produced heat is then converted into electricity to power the spacecraft. As much we like to celebrate the fact that, Voyagers have reached the interstellar space, the Voyager twins can’t last forever. Scientists estimate that all the equipment on board will shut down by 2031, and #NASA wants a replacement.
Credit Mr Scientific