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Dormant thrusters on Voyager work after 37 years

Voyager probe
An artist’s conception shows the Voyager spacecraft pointing its antenna back toward Earth. (NASA / JPL-Caltech Illustration)

Imagine you had a car sitting in storage since 1980, and suddenly you needed to start it up. Now imagine that it revs up like a charm as soon as you turn the key.

That’s the scenario NASA is using as a comparison for this week’s startup of a thruster system that’s been sitting dormant on the Voyager 1 probe for 37 years.

One important difference: Voyager’s key had to be turned by remote control from a distance of 13.1 billion miles.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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