Does anyone have a good schematic for the Voyager space probes?


Of course not, but I would love to see what the heck they made these things out of given how amazingly reliable they are. Any guesses? Good thing they didn’t install Windows.

NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched more than 35 years ago and now 11.5 billion miles from where it started, is closing in on this boundary. In recent years scientists have been waiting eagerly for it to become the first artificial object to leave the solar system and enter the wider reaches of the Milky Way, which they fully expect it to do. But there has been at least one false alarm.

I am sure they used radiation hardened TTL type logic.

I am sure they used radiation hardened TTL type logic.

Ouch! Imagine the power requirements! That probe has very strict power consumption parameters. Was CMOS too immature or not radiation resistant enough?

Don't know. 35 years ago, I was still in high school.

Each Voyager spacecraft comprises 65,000 individual parts. Many of these parts have a large number of "equivalent" smaller parts such as transistors. One computer memory alone contains over one million equivalent electronic parts, with each spacecraft containing some five million equivalent parts. Since a color TV set contains about 2500 equivalent parts, each Voyager has the equivalent electronic circuit complexity of some 2000 color TV sets.

Like the HAL computer aboard the ship Discovery from the famous science fiction story 2001: A Space Odyssey, each Voyager is equipped with computer programming for autonomous fault protection. The Voyager system is one of the most sophisticated ever designed for a deep-space probe. There are seven top-level fault protection routines, each capable of covering a multitude of possible failures. The spacecraft can place itself in a safe state in a matter of only seconds or minutes, an ability that is critical for its survival when round-trip communication times for Earth stretch to several hours as the spacecraft journeys to the remote outer solar system.

Both Voyagers were specifically designed and protected to withstand the large radiation dosage during the Jupiter swing-by. This was accomplished by selecting radiation-hardened parts and by shielding very sensitive parts. An unprotected human passenger riding aboard Voyager 1 during its Jupiter encounter would have received a radiation dose equal to one thousand times the lethal level.

The electronics and heaters aboard each nearly one-ton Voyager spacecraft can operate on only 400 watts of power, or roughly one-fourth that used by an average residential home in the western United States.

Try these guys for more info: