Uptime 15,364 days - The Computers of Voyager

  • Originally designed for a run of 5 years, but the engineers explicitly designed for longevity. It's been a few decades now!

  • Multiple onboard computers for redundancy, including voting to elect a leader. (!)

  • No OS, programmed in Assembly and maybe Fortran.

  • The main computing unit is interrupt based, and uses them to receive inputs from other subsystems.

  • Memory is magnetic fields on a wire. Slow, but non-volatile and resistant to radiation.

  • Golay encoding to reduce the error rate.

  • There's a tape deck that can store 500Mbits as a backup, but all captured data is instantly fired off to Earth to save space.

  • Bandwidth decreases the further away it gets. Compression was added to it midflight so it could use the bandwidth more effectively. 😯

  • Probably can't reach it after 5 years. It's powered by a plutonium RTG, which will reach its half life soon.