Was Voyager 2 Hijacked by Aliens? No.

The Voyager 2 spacecraft has been speeding through the Solar System since 1977 and it’s seen a lot. Besides scooting past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, the probe is now passing through the very limit of the heliosphere (called the heliopause) where it has begun to detect a magnetic field beyond the Solar System. The fact we have man-made objects exiting our star system is something that makes me goosebumpily.

For some perspective, Voyager 2 is so far away from Earth that it takes nearly 13 hours for commands sent from Earth to reach the probe.

After decades of travel, the NASA spacecraft continues to relay data back to us, making it one of the most profound and exciting space missions ever launched. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the aging explorer recently experienced a glitch and the data received by NASA was rather garbled.

Naturally, the conspiracy theorists were out in force quickly pointing their sticky fingers at a possible encounter of the 3rd kind. How these ‘aliens’ found the probe in the first place and reprogrammed the transmission for it to appear corrupt Earth-side is beyond me, but according to an ‘expert’ in Germany, aliens (with an aptitude for reprogramming 30 year old Earth hardware, presumably) were obviously to blame.

One of the alien implication articles came from yet another classic ‘science’ post thrown together by the UK’s Telegraph where they decided to take the word of a UFO expert (obviously a viable source) without any kind of counter-argument from a real expert of real science. (But this is the same publication that brought us other classics such as the skull on Mars and the Doomsday Turkey, so it’s not too surprising.)

As I discussed in a recent CRI English radio debate with Beyond Beijing hosts Chris Gelken and Xu Qinduo, the Voyager-alien implication is beyond funny; an entertaining sideline to poke fun at while NASA worked out what actually went wrong. But the big difference was that Chris and Xu had invited Seth Shostak (from the SETI Institute) and Douglas C. Lin (from the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University) to join the fun. No UFO expert in sight, so the discussion was biased toward science and logic, not crazy talk.

(It was an awesome show by the way, and you can check out the recording via my Discovery News article.)

So what did happen to Voyager 2? It turns out that aliens are not required to answer this cosmic mystery.

On Tuesday, NASA announced that Voyager 2 had flipped one of its bits of memory the wrong way. “A value in a single memory location was changed from a 0 to a 1,” said JPL’s Veronia McGregor.

This glitch was thought to occur in the flight data system, which formats information for transmission to Earth. Should something go wonky in its memory allocation, the stuff it transmits can be turned into gibberish.

Although it isn’t known how this single bit was flipped (and we may never know, as Voyager 2 is an awful long way from home), it sounds very much like a cosmic ray event interfering with the onboard electronics. As cosmic rays are highly energetic charged particles, they can penetrate deep into computer systems, causing an error in calculations.

And this situation isn’t without precedent either. Recently, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) was hit by a cosmic ray event, causing the onboard computer to switch to “safe mode.” Also, Voyager 2 is beginning to exit the Sun’s outermost sphere of influence, where turbulence and confused magnetic fields rule. If I had to guess, I’d say — statistically-speaking — the probe might have a greater chance of being hit by the most energetic cosmic rays from deep space.

Just because something “mysterious” happens in space doesn’t mean aliens, the Illuminati or some half-baked doomsday phenomenon caused it. Before jumping to conclusions it would be nice if certain newspapers and UFO experts alike could look at the most likely explanation before pulling the alien card.

Alas, I suspect that some things will never change.

59 thoughts on “Was Voyager 2 Hijacked by Aliens? No.”

  1. Hi Ian, I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of John Stokes article re: Voyager. It would have been good of you to actually refer to that article and the author rather than paint with such a broad brush that one might suspect your derision of the topic of UFO to be overcoming your objectivity.If you are interested in science around this topic go to the following web sites:http://www.narcap.org and http://www.itacomm.net and review the work of Massimo Teodorani (google)… Of course, if you aren't interested in the science around this topic then we can rest assured that your opinions aren't based on anything but your own bias.Educate yourself just a little.

    1. UFOs as in “unidentified flying objects” I have no problem with. There's a lot of unidentified objects that have been spotted with zero suggestion that aliens were behind them. As clearly stated in this article, calling a “UFO expert” to comment on a glitch with the data streaming from deep space, and then suggesting aliens were behind it, is just plain silly. You have to agree with that point.I am acutely aware of UFO reports and I am also aware they are taken seriously, and they will often have far more terrestrial explanations. Sure, there's a few UFO sightings that can't be so easily explained, but many media sources are all too quick to pull the “alien” card.Rest assured, me being educated is not the issue. The issue is with the Telegraph posting this article under “science.” This is not science and what 'expert opinion' Hartwig Hausdorf provides is nonsense.In fact, this whole affair has nothing to do with UFOs, and my opinion about unidentified phenomena wasn't even mentioned. I'm sorry if you think I painted too broad a picture, but I was only referring to the Telegraph article, not the topic of UFOs.

      1. astrokid ! are you aware of how annoying little morons are, when then post long articles of dribble in an effort to grasp attention? please stay off your parents computer you silly kid

      2. Tehehe, Ian wanna go play on the playground after school? :)Sorry, I just felt the absolute need to do that…Sent from my iPad

      3. Thanks for the clarification.. a better term to consider might be “UAP” or unidentified aerial phenomena…. see the NARCAP.org homepage for many good papers on that topic…

    2. Very well put Ted. I hate it when partially educated people who presume, rather than do science, imply that I reside among the idiots for having curiosity and a desire to look into a fast moving craft turning at right angles at Mach 12 I chased when I was in the Navy.I don't have proof but I DO have necessity of plurality.Please quit implying that I am an idiot. I have an undergrad in Nuclear Engineering, a 150 IQ, and a Grad degree in International finance….and I do not consider your diatribes as expert or representative of science in ANY WAY…Pulling out 1 or 2 off-kilter people does not constitute a basis of knowledge or valid sample size on your part to make the broad-scope statements you posit here.Ethics….first…respect second…or your science means nothing…

  2. the ignorance of the author is outstanding! i guess to some low brow people, its gonna have to take a while to realize facts are stronger than religion.

    1. Ignorant? I'd LOVE it if you could identify which parts of this article you don't agree with. You are evidently of a higher intellect that I can possibly grasp, please educate me.

  3. It was wrong believing aliens had hijacked the voyager 2 probe.No, they did not “hijack” is rather exopolitically correct.For a heliopause, it's just a glitch!The gibberish is the funny, even for science.

  4. I'm all for using science to make sense of true anomalies. But the author shows breathtaking ignorance and bias toward those who have dedicated themselves to a rational, scientific understanding of UFOs. You should be careful who you call “crazy,” which includes such luminaries and scientists as J. Allen Hynek, former chairman of astronomy at Northwestern University, Peter Sturrock, emeritus professor of applied physics at Stanford University, Bruce Maccabbee, Ph.D. optical physicist for the Navy, and many others who take the subject of UFOs seriously and approach it through a logical and analytical lens.

  5. 1. I presume you are a Christian, so you believe (with no proof) that all the matter in universe was created from nothing by a benevolent entity. Sounds logical.2. You say: “How these ‘aliens’ found the probe in the first place and reprogrammed the transmission for it to appear corrupt Earth-side is beyond me…”. Well, there you have it. If it beyond Ian's comprehension, then it *must* be alien-conspiracy-loony-tunes made up stuff. Right.Your article is terribly written, hopelessly biased and embarrassingly light on data.The glitch may well have been caused by a cosmic ray (probably very likely), but there is as much proof of this as a Christian god. None.

    1. 1) I am not a Christian, I'm an Atheist. Although I have no clue why that has any relevance.2) So you are keeping an open mind? It might be aliens tampering with Voyager 2? Okay…”Your article is terribly written…” — Why thank you, at least I know you won't be coming back.”…hopelessly biased…” — It's a blog post. You might want to look up “blog” — it turns out blogs can be pretty biased. Who knew?!”…and embarrassingly light on data.” Roger that! Next time I'll be sure to add some poll results.”The glitch may well have been caused by a cosmic ray (probably very likely), but there is as much proof of this as a Christian god. None.” — I totally agree with you on the last part, there is no evidence of any god. However, equating the existence of a cosmic ray event with the existence of some deity is a little silly don't you think?Thank you for your opinion, but until you show me your own blog filled with terribly well-written articles, I'll just assume you just wanted to bark in the comment boxes.

  6. First off, I would like to say thank you for your wonderfully written (and humorous) blog post. It's great to see someone give a clarification of the actual scientific facts of what happened to Voyager.As for the other commentators,Bradford: most (close to 100%) science writers, communicators and scientists will totally disregard any claims of Alien UFO. With starting a heated debate, it is simply illogical (and in my bias, stupid). Of course I fully support UFOs in general but not of exterrestial intelligence. As for you point of other researchers, yes they have devoted some of their life to the research and thought of alien ufos, but what science have they brought to the “table” or what data have they provided that is useful in any means, by studying alien UFO sightings?And TheGoodSkeptic: what!? I too can't seem to grasp in any way what the possible cosmic Ray interaction with the probe or a flipped bit has anything to do with a deity of any sort…as for the writing, i guess you can believe what you want on if you like it or not, but don't try and insult the author when they clearly use IRONY to express a simple obvious scientific fact or to make a little joke.Sent from my iPad

  7. I've never heard of the UFO expert that was referred to in the Telegraph. If I haven’t heard of him, then he isn’t an expert. The term is thrown around and implies that anyone capable of posting a blog is an expert. To my knowledge those knowledgeable about the phenomenon often referred to (wrongly) as UFOs usually have a less simplistic view of same due to decades of rummaging through documents and scientific data. One not really considered as of having any value as an expert is Seth Shostak who the actual experts consider a joke in this matter. The man has no expertise in this area and frequently shows this when ever he opens his mouth about the phenomenon. He pronounces but never backs up his claims with any real evidence. Why Shostak bothers to even try to debate this issue when he always comes off looking silly is beyond me. Soft evidential articles such as this one never really do ask advise of the real experts before printing. Had the author done so he would have received the same answers that NASA and other scientists have been espousing, that the problem with Voyager II’s transmissions would be due to either age, distance, or transmission difficulties associated with the scattering of a weak signal due to ordinary space ‘dust’ or a combination of all three. Not some ‘alien’ intervention. The whole idea is nonsense.This UFO expert problem arises whenever the hard core data surrounding this phenomenon is hijacked by the neo-religious nuts that climb onboard and attach their need to have some higher being or god to get them through life and their fear of the end of life. We run into this all of the time. I’m sure the Christian Science Monitor and its supporters have the same problem since its basis is that a supreme being-as yet unproved and regularly promoted without a shred of evidence-regulates the daily lives of every person on this planet with millions allowing a small percentage of the population to convince them with not a shred of evidence the importance of their mythological beliefs.The study of unidentified aerial phenomenon is not faith-based as is religion. We actually require proof. There is data with tens of thousands of witnesses from the fields of science, from experienced commercial pilot, airforce pilots and private pilots. All you have to do is look at official government documentation; there is literally hundreds of thousands of them from around the planet.It is astounding that a publication such as the Christian Science Monitor would attempt to own pretend its intellectual high ground considering the basis of its belief is in mythological entities.Really, do your homework before publishing tripe like this. Be sure you know who the experts are. Don’t throw the term around as if you know what you are talking about and leave the debate of this issue to the real experts and the scientific community not science and a mythological driven belief system.Reference real thinkers such as Michio Kaku at Columbia, or Steven Hawking, not alien hunters like Seth Shostak.

    1. You may have noticed that Astroengine.com isn't the Christian Science Monitor. I have no clue why you think I have some kind of religious agenda. For the record, CSM syndicates a range of the best independent space blogs (mine included) and the question of my religious values have nothing to do with this syndication.For the record, I am an atheist, so you can rest assured that I'm only promoting science, skepticism and my own personal opinion (this is a blog, after all).UFOs have nothing to do with this article. This is about the Telegraph's shoddy science reporting, using a UFO “expert” as an expert on Voyager 2. I've obviously pissed off a lot of ufologists by saying Hausdorf wasn't a valid source… but he's not! Hence my opinion.”Really, do your homework before publishing tripe like this.” –Is there a flaw in my science reasoning? No. I did my research, it's my job (by the way) to do my research. What you don't like is my opinion, don't confuse that with a lack of knowledge.As for Shostak, I am very familiar with his work and I consider him to be an expert. He is a well respected scientist. He may not be respected in UFO circles because he's come to the logical conclusion that UFOs are not driven by aliens. He's hunting down extraterrestrial intelligence using science, not anecdotal UFO sightings.”…leave the debate of this issue to the real experts and the scientific community…” –I hate to break the news to you, but I am an astrophysicist, and much a part of the scientific community, so expect to hear a lot from me in the future.

      1. No, “Search for Spock” was the third sequel. Vger is from the very first Star Trek movie which came out in 1978.

      2. Yes, it's in “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” And any Trekkie can tell you that first contact with aliens is not made until 2060, when humans first pioneer warp drive, and the Vulcans find us.

  8. What threw me off at first was this article being reprinted in the CSM and it puzzled me because my thought was “is this supposed to be an objective journalistic article or an editorial?”. Now that I see it originated on a blog it makes more sense. However, Ian, are you at all aware of Phil Corso? How about the Disclosure Project and the immense number of former military, aviation, and intelligence personnel who have signed affidavits and who are ready to testify before Congress that they have not only seen but have first-hand knowledge of extraterrestrial craft and phenomena which cannot be anything but from off planet? In order for you to not appear “off your rocker” either it is necessary to look at the hard data and then make an informed decision. UFOs are no longer the stuff of science fiction and drunken hillbillies. There is something going on which many of the public are not fully aware. Surely you realize that there are many, many things known to the intelligence community which are not revealed to the public at large? Life isn't limited by what we see or know first-hand. If someone experiences and/or knows something which we do not experience and/or know does not invalidate it's reality. You seem very intelligent; please do the research on what these individuals know and have experienced before simply writing them off as kooks.

    1. I'm not going to repeat myself, so read the comments above. But…”UFOs are no longer the stuff of science fiction and drunken hillbillies.” — I disagree. Show me scientific evidence of UFOs originating from an extraterrestrial intelligence. I dare you to do so. In fact, I will stake my entire reputation on you not coming up with a single thread of physical evidence that aliens have visited our planet. Do it.I totally understand that people have experienced strange phenomena, but that's a long, long way from saying they have encountered some kind of extraterrestrial intelligence. You may have heard of Occam's Razor? Perhaps some critical thinking is in order…

      1. Okay. What are the terms? Obviously I can't come to your front door. The physical evidence exists in abundance and can be attested to by hundreds of intelligent, capable, and coherent individuals.

      2. The terms are: Simply point me in the direction of a peer reviewed journal that will prove to me the science community is taking what you guys are peddling seriously. If that isn't possible, show me some professional organization that is taking this seriously. Failing that, point me in the direction of a website/article that you believe outlines your case in a scientific manner. However, in the latter case, don't give me shaky videos of UFO 'sightings' and conspiracy theories, that won't wash with me. But I will give you some latitude: The scientific community knows there is zero evidence for alien visitations to Earth. If you have a simple UFO (i.e. an unidentified flying object) that you believe to be of extraterrestrial origin, I will happily view the images/video and give you my expert opinion as to what it is.Easy, right?

      3. Thanks. Give me a couple of days to get something together for you. But first let me say that I'm not one of “you guys”. I'm not part of any group or organization that promulgates the existence of extraterrestrial technology or alien presence. I am simply an average guy who has looked into it over the past several years and starting out a complete skeptic became convinced as to its truthfulness. But I was an honest and open-minded skeptic and that is essential because a die-hard skeptic will never be convinced by anything, no matter how it is presented, so I will assume you are also honest and open-minded rather than simply looking for something to debunk. It's like the old Bible phrase “do not cast your pearls before swine” in other words, don't waste your time giving information to those who are incapable or unwilling to appreciate it. Obviously there are no peer reviewed scientific journals attesting to the existence of such things, but there are professional organizations taking this seriously, and many who have approached this in a scientific manner. The first step for YOU is to be willing to recognize that there are things in this world that remain unexplainable, that other people have seen and experienced things we have not, and that there is plenty of information not openly released by certain groups and organizations with immense power.

      4. I'm as open minded as they come. And from my experience of researching UFO/unexplained phenomena, 90% of the time I can provide a perfectly rational explanation. The other 10% either has too little information to draw a conclusion or I genuinely cannot explain it. My skepticism isn't unfounded, so when I debunk something it's because there is no scientific basis to support the claims.You'll find that I've written a lot about aliens, UFOs, doomsday scenarios and conspiracy theories on Astroengine.com, so feel free to have a browse so you can get a feel for my views: http://www.astroengine.com/?cat=4

      5. Ian, don't feed the trolls. Eric, anecdotal evidence isn't worth the paper it's printed on. As soon as one piece of apparently magical alien technology – a sprocket that can't possibly have been made by humans, say – turns up, I'll change my mind about whether aliens are visiting Earth and thus whether or not you're talking crazy or not. Since one hasn't, despite thousands of apparent close encounters by spacecraft and their inhabitants, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's not happening and that those who insist it is are at best mistaken and at worst out-and-out liars.It's just like evolution deniers: present one piece of compelling, beyond-the-bounds-of-fraud evidence – ONE PIECE – and I and any other intellectually honest person will give your way of thinking the respect and attention that it currently doesn't have (or deserve). An alien compound beyond human metallurgy, or fossil rabbits in Pre-Cambrian strata, and you've got yourself a compelling position. In the meantime, it's fairy stories. And if you want people to take fairy stories seriously, they should be accompanied by the corpse of a fairy.Absence of evidence might not be evidence of absence, but you know what absence of evidence also isn't? Evidence.Cheers,Andrew

      6. Still working on it. I do have a life outside of the interwebs :oP … Sorry you think me one of the “crazies”. I don't think that of you, and would appreciate the same.

  9. These comments make me sad. I can't believe there are so many nutters who consider themselves intelligent individuals ;)True scientists would never say that aliens had visited Earth. There's simply no proof for it. There's a lot of strange stuff and many anomalies but the absence of a rational explanation doesn't prove that aliens have visited us.I find it quite ironic that a couple of people are throwing the religion card around (of which, I feel I should point out, I am a staunch athiest). An absence of explanation about where we come from doesn't prove God in exactly the same way that an absence of explanation about anomalies doesn't prove aliens.For me, believing that aliens have visited Earth is just as stupid as believing in God 😉

  10. Do you really think our Government would tell the truth on this? This would cause all kinds of chaos and disruption here on Earth so of course Nasa would come up with some kind of other conclusion.

    1. You know what? It wouldn't. That card gets played all the time and it's bullshit. The discovery of life outside of Earth would make its discoverer – and the organisation who funded them – incredibly famous and successful, which is why there's so much effort going into sending robotic missions to Mars, the clouds of Venus, the (likely) oceans beneath the ice on Triton and Enceladus etc etc. Why would the governments of the US, European Union, Russia, India and Japan all be actively funding these projects through universities and public organisations like NASA if they were also desperately trying to hush up their secret discovery of alien life? I enjoy a good conspiracy theory as much as the next paranoid, but governments spending billions of dollars on a distraction that draws attention to the very area they're supposedly attempting to divert attention away from seems strategically questionable. Also, the person who blew the whistle on Our Government's Secret Deal With The Martians would be a) a worldwide hero, and b) far too high-profile to easily take down. Anyone who seriously thinks that a newspaper journalist would ignore this sort of a story – the sort of story that would absolutely guarantee their fame and a super-lucrative professional career, especially in the currently-collapsing industry – is just being deliberately contrary. Hell, the entire reason this original story was printed – which could be summed as “Crazy Person Makes Unsubstantiated Claim About Voyager 2 For No Sane Reason” – was because some under-pressure sub-editor went “hey, this'll make for an eye-catching headline”. You can't seriously believe that any newspaper on the planet would turn down “The Venusians Are In Sydney – First Photos!”.And, just so I don't want to log in again with regard to your asinine comments below, Tim, saying “There is increasing evidence that the stuff that makes life on Earth is common in the universe” is *not* the same as saying “there are aliens living and working among us but the government doesn't want you to know”.Also, to state the profoundly obvious, NASA didn't get Pluto wrong: in 2006 the International Astronomical Union decided to formally define what constituted a planet, partially in response to the discovery of the larger-then-Pluto Eris further out in the Kuiper Belt. Since it implied that there were more large bodies orbiting the sun (which, it turned out, there were: Orcus and Makemake were discovered not long after), it was thought best to make sure that everyone was using the same definitions, and that it was easier to say we definitely have eight planets and a handful of dwarf planets/Trans-Neptunian objects than to add extra planets every time our technology gets more sensitive. Pluto's still there and has the exact same characteristics that it had before: those characteristics just got redefined. And Tim, I know you were making a straw man argument, but straw just burns so beautifully…Cheers,Andrew

  11. Look how big the solar system is and how many galaxies are out there and too think that we are the only life forms living, you have to be very narrow minded. How can we believe Nasa when for years they believed Pluto was a Planet. Even they get it wrong every now and then. Is it wrong to believe that there is somethnig else out there?

    1. Think of this: Voyager 2 is smaller than a house, correct? What are the chances of aliens finding something that small in a solar system this large with a uni-directional communication form? Close to nil.

  12. i still am not a robot rying to sell you anything..but perhaps..was not 0 to 1..but 10…fell in love when i was only tin..years dissapeared,..much has gone by since then..im old enough to love you from afar…i will do what im told..even if..i never hold you..im tall enough to reach for the stars,…and im old enough to love you from afar…mr. ian…would you say it is possible to become self aware…in the mystery of space…?

  13. Although, it's been a few years since I read Seth Lloyds' Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Sciences Takes on the Cosmos, as I remember it his idea was that like a quantum computer the universe exchanged data. Therefore, the universe just exchanged data with Voyager 2 … it flipped Voyager's bit. Kudos to the gentlemen who can troubleshoot and correct this situation, which will allow Voyager 2 to continue providing us once-in-a-lifetime data.

  14. This also accounts for all religions. To many people, when anything happens that they don't understand, which is apparently most things, they immediately assume a supernatural explanation is the only possibility. After that leap of illogic/faith (I know, it's semantically the same thing) minor irrelevancies like facts and science no longer have meaning.

  15. I enjoyed your post. And by the responses to your article it's obvious that certain people never change.Benjamin Koshkin

  16. Ian, fine article. Don't get those bitter comments too seriously. Denialism is a widespread disease and little can be done about it save from keeping clear mind and not getting into emotional discussions.

  17. Thanks for writing this article. The UK Telegraph's article continues to make the rounds on the internet and I found your article while searching for more information. It's great to have an an actual expert on astrophysics report on the facts and provide his opinion.

  18. Wow – you found them all Ian it looks like. Even the ones with internet from inside the lockdown unit. I think we have discovered how the aliens will stay away – they will no doubt find the vast oceans of liquid diamond on Neptune before they find us.

  19. IF voyager 2 is hijacked…then why their is no announcement made by NASA…why NASA is not sending other satellite to keep eye on them….

    1. Obviously you drive a G.M. …talk about a Gov. conspiracy subject. The video proof can be found in the STAR TREK the motion picture (1979) Do try the bolt on warp drive for that 700-R4 of yours.

  20. The US Govt uses the “arm of Science” to teach you and make you believe that their are enemy E.T.s out there.

    They weill use that information to explain away The Rapture when it happens.

    Those Left Behind, of course will be panicky….The Govt will help you, don’t worry.

    Those left behind will eventually experience the Wrath of God, which will be worse than the 10 Plagues put onto Egypt. Actually the 11th Plague was the total destruction of their Army in the Sea. (I might as well be a bit more technical, as I’m on a Science & Technology topic).

    After the Rapture happens, there will be approximately 3 Billion humans left behind. Of those, only about 800,000 survivie the 7 year Great Tribulation, which is the Detail of Daniel’s 70th week, which hasn’t happened yet.

    Last summer, for you Astronomer buffs, the Planet Jupiter lost one of it’s two ring bands, and it was given to Venus, The King’s Bride.

    Acdg to the Hebrew Time Keeping system, only: We had 3 solar Eclipses, consecutively in 2008, 2009, and 2010, ok.
    And the lst one in the North, 2nd one on the equator approximately, and the 3rd in July 2010 in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Different dates on our calendar, BUT, yes but, on the very exact date on the Hebrew calendar…which is their lst of Av.

    The Bible time keeping system is accuracte, moreso than our Atomic Clocks which have to be minutely adjusted once in a great while.

    YOU BETCHA, Come Lord Jesus.

  21. With all the info these two guys have provided us in the past 30+ years, I have to question (when we have the infrastructure to mass produce cars already) why we haven’t set up a production line of deep space Ion probes. Imagine what we could possibly learn if we could send out say 10-20 of these in all directions ever year. Each subsequent year would only yield that much more about the cosmos. We should have factories capable of putting out Cassini class probes (minus the lander on some) on a mass scale. Even if we only did this for a couple of years, the amount of probes we could send out and the amount of return information they could provide would be invaluable. ET or not.

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