– Why hasn’t Voyager I been “hacked” yet?

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Just read NASA fixed a problem with Voyager which is interesting but it got me thinking- wouldn’t this be an easy target that some nations could hack and mess up since the technology is so old?

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20 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

But why? What reason would they have to want to hack voyager? 

No one keeps its results secret, every nation  could  benefit from the research, so in effect the US is spending the money and other nations get the results for free.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Well the act of hacking Voyager would be relatively easy. I am sure that you could get a copy of the Voyager protocol to figure out what to send to Voyager to make it do what you want it to do.

The issue is how to send the signal, and where. Voyager 1 and 2 are so far away that not only do you need a very high powered transmission source, but you also need to know exactly where in the sky to send it to.

Which means a motivated hacker would need to:
1. Learn the protocol (Easy)
2. Figure out something that they could make Voyager do that would be interesting enough to make it worth it (Harder)
3. Craft the signal to send (Moderately difficult)
4. Hack into or otherwise gain access to one of a handful of transmitters who can reach Voyager 1 or 2 (Very difficult)
5. Point the transmitter at Voyager 1 or 2 without anyone noticing (Staggeringly difficult)
6. Send the very slow bit-rate message to Voyager 1 or 2 (Easy)
7. Not get sent to jail for a short blurb on the evening news (Difficult)

Anonymous 0 Comments

To what end? The amount of work it would take to accomplish a hack of Voyager would be so enormous that the expected gain would also have to be enormous. The only way NASA can communicate with Voyager is via the Deep Space Network, which consists of 3 sites strategically located to provide maximum coverage of the sky. Each of these sites has a 70m (230 foot) diameter antenna that is used to send and receive signals from Voyager. At its current distance, it takes 22.5 hours for a signal just to reach Voyager, and that time is just going to keep getting longer.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because it takes a LOT of resources to communicate with voyager to begin with AND you have to know where to look and space is incredibly big.  Communication with Voyager (and other probes) relies on the NASA Deep Space Network, three facilities located around the world with massive satellite dishes necessary to send and receive the signals over such a vast distance. 

You’d either have to build a sufficiently powerful array of your own OR hijack one of the existing ones. Then you’d have to know where to look which is probably not something NASA advertises. 

Short version? The reason no one has done it is a combination of two things:

1. It’s incredibly hard to do 
2. There’s little benefit to doing it

Anonymous 0 Comments

I believe it would be the hacking equivalent of Islamic officials destroying ancient statues. Pretty much everyone would view it as a dick move.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You’d have to question why anyone would want to. It would be like picking on the kid at school.who everyone gets on with. It wouldn’t be cool or acceptable by any means and the retaliation wouldn’t be proportional.

You think to downgrading of Pluto from a planet was bad? Fuck with Voyager and find out.

Anonymous 0 Comments

NASA is an admired organization that has developed life-saving technologies and made significant contributions to the world. Moreover, hacking the Voyager spacecraft is not profitable. Even if a group attempted this just “for the lulz”, it would be highly challenging. They would need to access the Deep Space Network first, which alone would be an vulnerability, that one wouldn’t want to waste. Attempting such a feat would be costly, difficult, and offer neither financial gain nor fame.

Anonymous 0 Comments

To get an idea of how difficult this would be, read up on the the ISEE-3 Reboot Project. It was a successful effort by radio amateurs (hackers, but the good kind) to contact and “reboot” a 30 year old satellite. This satellite was at a Lagrange point (L1 I believe), much closer to Earth than Voyagers 1 and 2. This was very difficult to achieve, but waaay easier than trying to do the same thing with Voyager.


Thanks to bearcatjoe for posting the Wikipedia link below, which contains a much better summary than my link!!

Anonymous 0 Comments

I mean, apart from NASA, the only communications antennas powerful enough to reach Voyager are owned by Russia and maybe China – I don’t think even the EU’s ESTRACK was built to reach that far.

So the real question isn’t about hacking Voyager, but hacking one of the very few multi-billion-dollar antennas capable of communicating with Voyager.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because there is more prestige in hacking the Gibson?