Question

Where are the Pioneer and Voyager space probes? Are they still operating? Is anybody listening to them?

Asked by: Chris Preston

Answer

These space probes are still operating though they are not providing scientific information any longer. In fact NASA announced just recently that it was going to try to make contact with Pioneer if the craft is still capable of sending transmissions. Voyager 1 is now about 12 billion kilometers from earth and Pioneer (actually Pioneer 10) is even farther away and heading towards the constellation Taurus (though it won't get there any time soon!).

If you are interested in learning more about the status of these projects I would refer you to the NASA website where all ongoing projects are listed:

http://www.nasa.gov/projects.html

Answered by: Brent Nelson, M.A. Physics, Ph.D. Student, UC Berkeley

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Science Quote

'The mathematician's patterns, like the painter's or the poets, must be beautiful; the ideas, like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics.'

Godfrey Hardy
(1877-1947)