How far can Voyager 1 go before we lose contact?

Published by Darron Toy on


In 1977, the Voyager 1 space probe was launched
to study the outer solar system. The two Voyager space probes have become the longest operating spacecrafts in spaceflight history. 41 years later, Voyager 1 is now 19 Billion
kilometres from Earth and travelling at 61,000km/h. Despite Voyager 1 being the furthest man made object from Earth, we are still able to communicate with the space probe on a regular basis. But how far can it go before we can no longer communicate with it? To answer this, we need to know how Voyager 1 receives and transmits data from 21 Billion Kilometres away. A 20 KiloWatt signal is transmitted from Earth
to Voyager 1 using radio waves. It takes almost 20 hours for the signal to
reach the space probe where it’s sensitive antenna picks up the signal. For comparison, it takes the rovers on Mars an average of just 15 minutes to send messages back to Earth. Voyager starts sending data back to Earth using a 20 Watt signal. As it travels through space, the signal strength weakens. And by the time it reaches Earth, the signal is barely detectable. In order to communicate with objects that
are this far away, it doesn’t really matter how strong the signal is, as long as you have a receiver that is sensitive enough to pick it up. NASA uses the Deep Space Network which consists of three Antenna complexes equally spaced around the Earth. Each complex has a huge 70 metre antenna along
with multiple 34 metre antennae which can be combined to pick up signals that are thousands of times weaker than your standard FM radio signal. The Deep Space network spends several hours
each day listening for faint signals from Voyager 1, and so far, it continues to talk
back to us. Since our methods for detecting signals has
improved drastically over the past 50 years, there isn’t really a limit on how far we
can communicate with objects in Space. With our current technology, we could reliably communicate with objects that are many light years away from us, as long as our receivers
are sensitive and accurate enough to pick up the extremely weak signals. As Voyager travels further and further away from Earth it takes longer to send and receive signals. The signal strength also gets weaker and data
rates become slower making it harder and harder to communicate with the spacecraft. Voyager 1 will continue on it’s journey
indefinitely, and although there is technically no limit to how far we can communicate, our communication with Voyager 1 only has a few years left. Since Voyager 1 is Nuclear powered, it’s
electrical power weakens each day. In 1990, in order to save power, engineers
turned off the spacecraft’s camera after Voyager took the famous “Pale Blue Dot”
image, which showed Earth as a tiny blue pixel against the darkness of space. Today, only 4 out of the 11 scientific instruments
on Voyager 1 are still active. These instruments are being used to collect data on magnetic fields, solar winds and cosmic rays outside of our solar system. In around 8 years, Voyager 1 will completely
run out of power and will no longer be able to keep it’s instruments going. Scientists will continue to communicate with
the space probe and receive the important information it gathers until it eventually
sends its last bit of data and disappears silently into space, never to be heard from
ever again. So although the end is near for the Voyager
space probes, we can appreciate the incredible journey they have been on and the valuable
science they have taught us. Thank you to the Primal Space Patrons who
help to write and research each video. If you’d like to contribute to Primal Space,
please visit Patreon.com/PrimalSpace, where we will be doing a giveaway of a Saturn V Lego set once we reach 50 Patrons. So make sure you’re subscribed, so you can join the discussion as we continue to learn more about all things space. Thank you very much for watching and I’ll see you in the next video.


100 Comments

Stragrrius A · September 23, 2019 at 1:18 pm

Voyager 1 Is The Furthest Out Of Solar system And Same Out of Oort Cloud For 30000 Years. Furthest out on Oort cloud Can 300000 Years to Oudside The Oort Cloud Can Wait 100 Billion Years To Oudside The Milky Way.

neoavenir · September 23, 2019 at 11:28 pm

Destiny still arrives…. :,(

Daniel Reyes · September 24, 2019 at 5:51 am

Bring back please…i dont want it to be alone forever….let it die with us….we all came together we will go out together….VOYAGER!!! 😢😢😢

VainCape549 · September 24, 2019 at 6:46 am

I’m growing a moustache

Pata Pajak · September 24, 2019 at 11:56 am

When the most distant man made object responds faster than your friends when you send them a message

Raffi Basmajian · September 24, 2019 at 12:02 pm

1.7K downvotes from plastic mock-ups of Voyager that never made it to space.

onyx gaming · September 24, 2019 at 12:16 pm

I am sad

Dan Vaught · September 24, 2019 at 2:08 pm

and i can't get cell coverage in my living room.

Larry1980s · September 25, 2019 at 12:06 am

Voyager 1 is about 13.7 billion miles from Earth, WoW

bblazeff1 · September 25, 2019 at 2:43 am

Possible to transfer signals to and from via Hubble or other spacecraft ?

bblazeff1 · September 25, 2019 at 2:47 am

Voyager 1 dies, floats around space for 26,000,000,000 years, finds orbit in another galaxy, their sun recharges the nuclear generator, crashes into paleo era human like beings and infects an entire continent, with radioactive waste, who are on the brink of inventing the wheel. Turning them into mutant aliens who, after 5,000 years of evolution, find the formula to space and time travel, travel back to the 1960's Earth and slaps the head scientist with an invisible 34" alien cock, making him sneeze onto his nuclear reactor blueprints, smearing the one equation that would have given us unlimited propulsion and communications to the Voyager 1. Then the cycle begins all over, in the actual length of time being 17 minutes.

T. James · September 25, 2019 at 4:44 am

Hey, Nimrod! You flipped the Earth backwards.

Intergalactic raisins · September 25, 2019 at 10:27 am

Imagine what a stuff up it would be if they photographed the wrong planet.

Sky Cloud · September 25, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Can we now make Voyager probes that don't run out of energy by the time they reach the nearest stars? (Even if yes, it's take a damn long time for them to do so).

Stephondabomb · September 25, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Am I really about to cry over a space probes death

101sshhh · September 25, 2019 at 1:44 pm

Just past the m3 in london.

AMS Creations · September 25, 2019 at 7:40 pm

Voyager also has photos of people on earth, some songs and a map for aliens to locate earth, all in digital form. Hope some aliens really find it.

Jacqueline Keijzer · September 26, 2019 at 4:21 am

/👀RR [email protected]…!!
/
🍵

James Hogan · September 26, 2019 at 8:32 am

The earth is lade out flat. These are not truths Christ Jesus is the only way to the FATHER.

Lisa Baca · September 26, 2019 at 3:27 pm

That's so sad rip sattalite:(

Anonymous Entity · September 27, 2019 at 1:29 am

Real or not I refuse to believe we are alone in space. 🛸🛸🛸

Eric Smyth · September 27, 2019 at 3:34 am

Let's send a 2nd voyager to pick up its signal

your boi · September 27, 2019 at 5:48 am

aliens: alright there is a hostile civilization among us

James Waikhom · September 27, 2019 at 3:36 pm

the journey just for the benefit of humanity.❤️❤️

Shadow Edits · September 27, 2019 at 9:56 pm

Then we became advanced. We can now travel outside our Solar System and into Deep Space, then we find Voyager 1. WHAT!?!

Saminations · September 28, 2019 at 4:29 am

wow the ending hurt
like losing an old friend

Xavier Mathews · September 28, 2019 at 6:43 am

Why do I feel sad. This was utterly depressing.

Matthew Weatherman · September 28, 2019 at 8:44 am

A long way unless for some reason it falls into Uranus.

Matthew Weatherman · September 28, 2019 at 8:48 am

Remember that you're telling this for the most part to idiots. By saying it takes 15 minutes to send from mars something back to earth there are people who are going to mistakenly think that's how long it will take machine to make up the message and send it. Shoulda said "the signal once transmitted from Mars will take about 15 minutes to reach Earth. (and yes a lot or people are too stupid to get that.)

Cyka Lasagna · September 28, 2019 at 8:57 am

voyager 1 is like your diamond armor permanently equipped with curse of vanishing but with unbreaking 3.

vamshi karri · September 28, 2019 at 10:39 am

Nice creation of earth🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎

joeynx · September 28, 2019 at 1:10 pm

He protec
He attac
But most importantly, he ain’t coming back 🙁

theDunedan · September 28, 2019 at 6:42 pm

It's hard to take a video seriously that can't even get the Earth right.

mr Ree ree · September 28, 2019 at 11:27 pm

What if the Voyager 1 picks up an alien signal?

Anto Carrera · September 28, 2019 at 11:30 pm

🙁

Onhaz Retz · September 29, 2019 at 7:25 am

Wish they can put the camera on for the last time towards earth

Dark Mode · September 29, 2019 at 9:55 am

If nasa made a bluetooth device it would be legendary.

Last Prophet · September 29, 2019 at 6:04 pm

I have served as best as i could. good bye earth . humanity. voyager one signing out.

Crazy Careive · September 29, 2019 at 8:30 pm

Wrong delivery address -Voyager 2

SpaceCowboy · September 30, 2019 at 1:21 am

Cheer up, everyone. It'll be absorbed by the Big Gete Star and help regenerate Meta-Cooler so he ca- oh, wait. Oops.

USS Trekky · September 30, 2019 at 1:37 am

Voyager is out there right now

Fran Ra · September 30, 2019 at 4:21 am

It's about time for a Voyeur 3-some. Trump's "grab'em by the pussy Space Force" is perfect for this new challenge.

Param Veer · September 30, 2019 at 6:06 am

If Radio waves takes 20 minutes
To reach 20billion km far Voyager
Then it Faster than light
I think

LoRd VeNOM · September 30, 2019 at 3:01 pm

Satellite get its energy from solar energy so when it contact with other sun or star, it would recharge itself nah….. 🤔

Mc Lol · September 30, 2019 at 4:29 pm

Anybody still believe any of this stuff is real?

Stefan Veenstra · September 30, 2019 at 5:18 pm

Imagine the last signal being a response it picked up from an alien planet.

Xeno · September 30, 2019 at 6:40 pm

What about voyager 2

Seagull of astronomy · September 30, 2019 at 10:38 pm

Voyager 1 in 1990 turned back the camera and shot – from a Carl Sagan proposal – one of the best space shots, the Pale Blue Dot when it was after Pluto, in the Kuiper Belt. Our pixel Earth. Hope to hear about you when I get old, V1…

Azie Rage · October 1, 2019 at 11:44 am

someday in the far future, someone will recover voyager 1 as a collector's item.

DigDig1999 · October 1, 2019 at 12:53 pm

This has actually made me sad to hear

Subathra Raja · October 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

What if it fell into black hole

Subathra Raja · October 1, 2019 at 2:28 pm

😂😂😂

Ayy Lmao · October 1, 2019 at 8:04 pm

why do have to make me sad

ram bo · October 1, 2019 at 8:08 pm

Aww …. poor lil voyager .

Ryusennin · October 1, 2019 at 9:44 pm

Voyager 1 is not actually alone (so to speak). Although they all travel in different directions, Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are our proud deep space boyscouts. To put things in perspective, New Horizons is lagging far behind.

Youtube_boy 23 · October 1, 2019 at 10:22 pm

I'm not crying, YOUR CRYING

(Sniffle)🤧

saitama · October 2, 2019 at 4:43 am

If or when we get to space conquering, Voyager 1 will be a godly bounty prize to find crash landed on another planet or orbiting some other solar system, and be the rarest find in all of human history, or be swallowed by a sun or black hole

James Meritt · October 2, 2019 at 5:47 am

We will lose contact right after the Klingon ship blasts it!

Kingpin Manze · October 2, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Imagine it going so far to another solar system and then orbiting a planet with life

UltraEssentials · October 2, 2019 at 5:04 pm

This is so sad, can we hit 50 likes.

JaCk MeOff · October 2, 2019 at 8:46 pm

Cant we send more?faster ones?with more memory and better cameras and all?

MWB Gaming · October 2, 2019 at 11:32 pm

We should make another one with modern technology and sent it onward

Teledabby · October 3, 2019 at 8:36 am

what kind of data they transmit today? does voyager still do any science? Or just say "im still here"?

Дмитрий Звездкин · October 3, 2019 at 4:33 pm

I'm crying 😭😭😭

Dilun Wu · October 3, 2019 at 11:48 pm

just like pewdiepie lose joergen 1

Flint Lee · October 4, 2019 at 1:24 am

That's actually pretty sad

Youtube T · October 4, 2019 at 6:51 am

Can anyone tell me please the name of the music 3:32

Ahmad Taheri · October 4, 2019 at 10:40 am

If voyager 1 is going in a certain direction into space, and voyager 2 in another direction, then why not send out more probes into different directions into deep space???

Will Murray · October 4, 2019 at 4:21 pm

When Voyager disappears into the massive dark, it will have traveled another 4,274,880,000 km(6,839,808,000 miles)! Goodnight buddy, sleep tight!

SH1K 0 · October 4, 2019 at 7:41 pm

This is sad
I am actually crying 😢

Gman Sedd · October 4, 2019 at 10:28 pm

You'd think it would just be solar powered, y'know?

Bevil · October 5, 2019 at 1:42 am

so youre saying, the Voyager 1 has better ping than i?

Moldy_ Skittles · October 5, 2019 at 1:46 am

Now you know, when your running away go here

Nelson · October 5, 2019 at 3:48 am

I know Voyager 1 is just a satellite but I'll miss Voyager 1

Forward Plans · October 5, 2019 at 5:24 am

Don't both Veegers have gold records showing they came from Earth, and the Milky Way Galaxy?

Thomas Carney · October 5, 2019 at 12:37 pm

As an RF Engineer, there ARE limits to how far away we could hear Voyager 1 and 2. Theoretically there are no limits, but theory is merely an approximation. Theory is not reality. Engineers have to deal with reality.

Shemsudin Mustafic · October 5, 2019 at 12:57 pm

This guys sounds kinda like bird person from rick and morty lmao

Javier Robles · October 5, 2019 at 1:14 pm

Why wasn't it solar powered? Once it reaches a closer start the panels can open recharge the battery and turn it back on. No?

MrINTELIKXX · October 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Alien will pick up voyager..and search the origin..and they send it back with virus ..lol

juju · October 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm

how come we haven't received signals from anything else then

Cheecky12 · October 5, 2019 at 5:36 pm

Maybe you need to send a device acting as an information relay from Voyager I for better reception of information?

PREPARE 4 STORMS · October 5, 2019 at 7:53 pm

Voyager 1 can go as far as your imagination will allow it, or until your fearless leader, (NASA), tells you it will go. And you'll believe every word of it, even though it can't be proven.

You've all been brainwashed to believe them and nothing can be done to prove them wrong. NASA is nothing more than a propaganda money making machine and religion.

You have to have a blind faith in order for this to work. You have to believe their word and cannot prove them wrong, because you, a mere man on earth, isn't an astronaut.

Therefore, a person must have faith in NASA in order for it to work. You, nor NASA for that matter, cannot prove, nor disprove anything.

Sure, they'll show you a cgi special effects video, and they might even CLAIM it's real footage. However, think about this……..

NASA'S daily budget rings in around 50,000,000 dollars a day…. 50 million a freakin day. With such a gigantic daily allowance, it would cost chump change to create a very "real like" professional, cgi, Hollywood type production in order to fool the masses.

The US government has one of the largest studios in the world. It outranks Hollywood. Yes, they have been making propaganda videos for years.

DookB · October 6, 2019 at 12:45 am

In 10,000 years some other life form will see voyager 1 speeding through their solar system and will wonder where the hell it came from.

procopis christofi · October 6, 2019 at 9:48 am

Wr can like we wend data with electons can improve teslas dream and send power to the voaget

Malb · October 6, 2019 at 3:33 pm

Voyager 1 is like my dad…

didn't return home since 1970

Llama Prince · October 6, 2019 at 7:50 pm

eh they where getting to old anyways

Nick · October 6, 2019 at 9:03 pm

Dude….

Ajj Jha · October 7, 2019 at 2:33 am

It means signal speed is faster than light

テイラー · October 7, 2019 at 4:25 am

Sad voyager noises

Random Stuff · October 7, 2019 at 11:34 am

Did we use solar panels on voyeger1? So that it can power the craft even after it's nuclear power source runs out.

Matthew Springer · October 7, 2019 at 11:35 am

Can’t they just send another one out there?

Travis Worth · October 7, 2019 at 11:35 am

“My batteries are low. It is getting dark.”😭

Giorno Giovanna · October 7, 2019 at 2:15 pm

I mean, i can return it back to earth if you want.

Manoj Saxena · October 7, 2019 at 2:30 pm

Here scientist can fixed receiver in space at appropriate location and retransmit data to earth recipient station if practical and possible. Like space station if we want to travel in space. With refueling system.

ViniByte · October 7, 2019 at 4:24 pm

100 years later humans would've made tech so fast that something will be launched that will catch up to voyager 1 & take its vids and be shared on social media like "ancient probe* haha

щыдвd лвллвd · October 7, 2019 at 7:39 pm

Voyager will die soon and some people still believe earth is flat 🤣🤣🙃🙃🙃

Diego Santin · October 8, 2019 at 2:27 am

Only from the USA 🇺🇸

V I D R O · October 8, 2019 at 9:13 am

You sound like Carl Sagan

flash51050 · October 8, 2019 at 10:07 am

I am having trouble getting swansea sound and it's just over 10 miles away

Sebastian Theuer · October 8, 2019 at 12:19 pm

"Do not go silently in to that good night.."

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