Oldest computer still in current use

From: Mark Tapley <mtapley_at_swri.edu>
Date: Mon May 12 09:26:00 2003

>On Sun, 11 May 2003, TeoZ wrote:
>> Wether its sending back data is mute since its too far away for that
>> data to get to us. Its missin was to send back data on everything it
>> found, why would that misson ever end since its still moving through
>> space?
>I believe we can still discern Voyager signal.



Both Voyagers and one Pioneer are still being tracked, daily for the
Voyagers and "occasionally" for Pioneer 10. All are looking for the point
where the solar wind finally gets overwhelmed by the local interstellar
medium flow (there should be a bow shock in the "upwind" direction). The
main instrument being used for the search is a magnetometer, which should
register a change in the local magnetic field when the spacecraft crosses
the bow shock.

Bit rates are very very low (bits per minute type thing, don't know exactly
but can find out if you are interested.)

The science being addressed is something we have no other way of observing
in situ (remote observing missions are being planned) so it's still in
practical use if you regard basic scientific research as "practical" (I do,
but then, I would).

Pioneer 10 was launched 02-Mar-1972, and it's questionable whether you want
to claim it contains a "computer" anyway, so it's maybe not relevant to the
original question.
                                                        - Mark
Received on Mon May 12 2003 - 09:26:00 BST

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