JPL just did something with one of the Voyager probes this week that anybody could do. If they were awesome.
Voyager 1, NASA’s farthest and fastest spacecraft, is the only human-made object in interstellar space, the environment between the stars. The spacecraft, which has been flying for 40 years, relies on small devices called thrusters to orient itself so it can communicate with Earth. These thrusters fire in tiny pulses, or “puffs,” lasting mere milliseconds, to subtly rotate the spacecraft so that its antenna points at our planet. Now, the Voyager team is able to use a set of four backup thrusters, dormant since 1980.
…the Federation is definitely portrayed as at least a socialist state. You can tell because Voyagerenthusiastically developed a barter economy the moment that they were cut off from the Alpha Quadrant, and its infinite energy (which meant infinite matter, thanks to the replicator). This, by the way, doesn’t bother me: I’ve long understood that you absolutely NEED magic spells in order to make socialism actually work.
Fun science fact of the day: the probes that we keep throwing out of the solar system aren’t quite where they should be. That is one of those little piddling oddities that can sometime blossom into entire sub-fields of physics being named after somebody…and can sometime not blossom, but we’re almost overdue for a fundamental revolution in scientific theory anyway. So keep watching the skies!
Personally, I find it unconscionable that the most obvious explanation has not been listed by Wikipedia: