# Difference between revisions of "Talk:2624: Voyager Wires"

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Quick calc+google - world copper reserves are estimated at 870 million tonnes, Voyager 1 is 14,471,238,963 miles from Earth (Voyager 2 a bit closer, 12 x 10^9 miles)... a lot of unit conversions and simple arithmetics later... World copper reserves would be enough for a cable with about 4 mm^2 cross-section (2,3 mm diameter) for one of them or 2.3 mm^2 cross-section (1,7 mm diameter) cables to both. Someone check the math please, it's been a long day... [[Special:Contributions/172.68.110.139|172.68.110.139]] 19:31, 25 May 2022 (UTC) | Quick calc+google - world copper reserves are estimated at 870 million tonnes, Voyager 1 is 14,471,238,963 miles from Earth (Voyager 2 a bit closer, 12 x 10^9 miles)... a lot of unit conversions and simple arithmetics later... World copper reserves would be enough for a cable with about 4 mm^2 cross-section (2,3 mm diameter) for one of them or 2.3 mm^2 cross-section (1,7 mm diameter) cables to both. Someone check the math please, it's been a long day... [[Special:Contributions/172.68.110.139|172.68.110.139]] 19:31, 25 May 2022 (UTC) | ||

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+ | This is a comic worth a What-If-article. Even with zero friction extraction systems and enough available copper, there is the problem of the speed you need to send out new wire. Voyager is moving at ca. 17 km/s and Earth moves at about 30. So when Earth and Voyager move in opposite directions you have to produce *a lot* of wire per second in order to keep up with that (not exactly 47 km/s because Voyager is moving away from the ecliptic. [[User:Kimmerin|Kimmerin]] ([[User talk:Kimmerin|talk]]) 19:53, 25 May 2022 (UTC) |

## Revision as of 19:53, 25 May 2022

This is fun - assuming a pair of 14ga wires were run the 14.5 billion mile distance from Earth to Voyager 1, the mass of copper would be on the order of 10^{12} kg, or ~5 times the mass of copper ever mined out of the earth. 172.70.126.87 17:18, 25 May 2022 (UTC)

At current prices for copper, this spool would cost ~9.6 trillion dollars. Surprisingly, that's only about a third of the US national debt. --KrazyKat (talk) 17:29, 25 May 2022 (UTC)

The problem of the Earth spinning could be solved by putting the contact at one of the poles; it will have to be on a swivel joint to prevent it from twisting. But there's also the Earth revolving around the Sun, which requires the cable length to cycle up and down by 186 million miles every year. I guess we could use a big version of dog leash holders. Barmar (talk) 17:44, 25 May 2022 (UTC)

Days before this comic was published, NASA reported issues with Voyager 1, reporting that "the probe’s attitude articulation and control system (AACS) don’t reflect what’s actually happening onboard" [1]

If they used wires and it was due to budget constraints, why not reel the Voyager probes back in and recycle the wire? 108.162.245.173 19:24, 25 May 2022 (UTC)

Quick calc+google - world copper reserves are estimated at 870 million tonnes, Voyager 1 is 14,471,238,963 miles from Earth (Voyager 2 a bit closer, 12 x 10^9 miles)... a lot of unit conversions and simple arithmetics later... World copper reserves would be enough for a cable with about 4 mm^2 cross-section (2,3 mm diameter) for one of them or 2.3 mm^2 cross-section (1,7 mm diameter) cables to both. Someone check the math please, it's been a long day... 172.68.110.139 19:31, 25 May 2022 (UTC)

This is a comic worth a What-If-article. Even with zero friction extraction systems and enough available copper, there is the problem of the speed you need to send out new wire. Voyager is moving at ca. 17 km/s and Earth moves at about 30. So when Earth and Voyager move in opposite directions you have to produce *a lot* of wire per second in order to keep up with that (not exactly 47 km/s because Voyager is moving away from the ecliptic. Kimmerin (talk) 19:53, 25 May 2022 (UTC)