Voyager Teams Honored for 40 Years of IT Excellence
Governments at all levels are working to modernize their legacy IT. Sometimes, however, the only option is to work with what you have. And at the recent "Federal 100 Awards" gala, GCN's sister publication FCW honored NASA's Voyager mission teams with a special prize to showcase what's possible when innovation and commitment are needed to keep systems running for a long time
In early September 1
Voyager 1 has left the solar system and Voyager 2 is close behind. Forty years after the mission, the team works with ingenuity around the 4 kilobyte of storage space the spacecraft has on board.
And as long-time members of the project retire, a major challenge is to find a replacement for computer languages such as FORTRAN and COBOL.
A team retired at the age of 81 said: "When we started it I realized that we were on an expedition, I just had no idea how much discovery there would be, and I certainly had no idea that it would take as long as it is. "
The mission itself will end sometime, as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are out of power. But Jeffrey Hayes, member of the Voyager team, said on accepting the award, "Even when the radioisotope generators on the spacecraft are finally used up, both will continue to pull into the galaxy – ambassadors of the human race while we take our first rehearsal steps in Space. "
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