Voyager: I am fierce proud my tax dollars helped this happen!

Voyager at Jupiter

Voyager I, launched 35 years ago, is now approaching the edge of our Solar System and will soon head out toward the other star systems that make up our galaxy, what we have fondly called the Milky Way. And it’s still transmitting data and adding to our store of knowledge like nothing else ever launched. (I’d say that its success strengthens the case for unmanned missions.)

There’s a link-rich story, plus videos and graphics at Talking Point Memo today.

We should all be proud, but also a bit sad that this is what we used to do.

NASA’s JPL has a site that follows the progress of [both] Voyagers in real time. It’s here.

18 responses to “Voyager: I am fierce proud my tax dollars helped this happen!

  1. Neither you nor I have any reason to be proud over the fact that our tax dollars helped fund this. It’s not as if either of us was given a choice in how that money was spent.

    On the other hand, Voyager is a cool project and has given us a lot of data.

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    • You are undoubtedly the most negative, hate filled person I have ever had the misfortune of stumbling over.

      As an American, I am proud that this country, my country, was capable of such a feat. This proves how great we once were, and I believe that 35 years ago many of us in this country were glad to see our tax dollars spent on this project – whether we were asked or not.

      Years ago our space program was a source of pride and this country rejoiced seeing that the first human to set foot on the moon was an American – who was sent there by our tax dollars – and, I don’t remember any bellyaching about it.

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      • I am? You’ve led a sheltered life then, especially from your fellow Liberals, who are much more negative and hate-filled than I can normally manage.

        But, as for America’s defunct space program – I’ll not debunk your beliefs; some lies / myths are needed by societies. I will say, however, that being glad we did it and/or being proud that we did it is much different than being proud that your taxes paid for it.

        I can’t see where anyone can lay claim to pride or shame over what they had no control over.

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    • I don’t expect my country to consult me about how they spend our tax dollars. If I object, I make that known (Vietnam, Iraq, drug war) to the extent that an individual citizen is able . . . even then I am a realist about how much impact any citizen has. Which of course, is why we band together on occasion to raise our voices.

      I am proud that my tax dollars contributed to this one.

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      • Moe, I just don’t understand pride or shame in what one had no input into or say over. That’s all.

        As for NASA in general – It’s was a source of national pride that should have also been a source of national shame. The pride in what we managed to achieve; the shame in why we did it and how we went about it.

        I’m NOT sad to them gutted and dying; they deserve to be so. I am, however, very, very saddened by the fact that we as a nation have no real plans on how to “replace” them or any real intention in doing so.

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        • Pride/shame . . . I suppose it’s to do with whether you identify with your country or not. I always say ‘we’ rather than “I’ when commenting on a group or entity of whiich I am a part. Before I retired, whenever I spoke of the company I worked for, I said ‘we’, even tho that company’s policies were not in my control. Ditto as an American. For good or ill, I identify as an American and I experience human emotions in that role.

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          • Somewhat. It also has to do with whether you identify the government as part of the nation in any moral, ethical, ideological, or cultural way.

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            • For what may be the first time jonolan, I simply don’t know what to say.

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            • Moe, you’ve shown no signs of any lack of innate intelligence or education so this shouldn’t be a gobsmack sort of thing for you.

              Can you honestly say that you still think of federal government as being part of the People, the actual body of the US?

              To me it seems that it’s been decades – the mid 1940s – since this has truly been the case.

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  2. I agree, and as a person from foreign shores, it was the the space project that first struck me as so absolutely “American” in reach ambition and skill. Fifty years ago as a (very) small schoolboy I bunked off classes to see John Glenn and I spoke to him and got his autograph. Then America was a torch-bearer a vision of a way forward for all the world. This has been lost since, and the fact America is lofted to the station by the Russians is a wonderfully sour irony. But I truely feel that with half a chance America might possibly be that light on a hill again, and such a project could be the “growth” we all need…still if you want to see the signature on school boy jotter then go here:-
    http://theoligarchkings.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/fifty-years-on-america-hitches-a-ride/

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    • Very cool David. Very very cool. My most vivid memory is of being in Grand Central Station with my father when Apollo 13 was in danger. Somehow, the station managed to project a TV image onto a big screen and hundreds of people stood there watching, waiting.

      When we landed on the moon, my sister was in a bar in London (wtih her flight crew – stewardess days!) and at touchdown, they were swept up onto British shoulders and the whole bar emptied into the street in celebration. She said they treated the American crew as though they’d done it on their own.

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  3. I’m not sure I’d call the US space program defunkt. The US manned program is certainly a shadow of what it was in the 60’s I agree.

    A new probe will be landing on Mars within the next 30 days or so to follow up on the amazing work done by Spirit and Opportunity (lanched in the early 2000’s).

    Check out the NASA website for more details.

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  4. I agree this is truly something to be proud of. It illustrates the ingenuity of what we can do when we pool our collective talents together. No one could have thought Voyager would still be going after all this time… well maybe Gene Rodenberry did (Star Trek: The Motion Picture).

    And people question the need to invest money in science and its inclusion in our schools.

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