How to design an interstellar probe

09/26/2013 | FastCoDesign

NASA's Voyager 1 probe just became the first man-made object to leave the solar system, and it's expected to keep broadcasting data back to Earth until 2036, an operational life of nearly 60 years. The probe's success stemmed from its designers' willingness to learn from past missions, to anticipate potential problems and a "simplicity to [computing] that lets you not get into trouble, especially when it comes to commanding and operating," says project manager Suzanne Dodd.

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