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Will the Voyager space crafts actually reach another Star System in 63,000 years? If the answer is yes, what will be powering the crafts to keep them going for so long?

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    $\begingroup$ This question appears to be based on the mistaken Aristotelian notion that a force is needed to keep an object in motion. $\endgroup$ – David Hammen Dec 6 '14 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidHammen The second half, yes. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Dec 6 '14 at 22:37
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Sort of. But not the same system.

Here's a photo of the directions the two Voyager probes (and a couple Pioneers) are traveling:

*Voyager* directions

They're also not traveling in a flat plane, as this page says:

Voyager 1 has crossed into the heliosheath and is leaving the solar system, rising above the ecliptic plane at an angle of about 35 degrees at a rate of about 520 million kilometers (about 320 million miles) a year. (Voyager 1 entered interstellar space on August 25, 2012.) Voyager 2 is also headed out of the solar system, diving below the ecliptic plane at an angle of about 48 degrees and a rate of about 470 million kilometers (about 290 million miles) a year.

I was able to find some good information here. Voyager 1 is headed towards Gliese 445. However, it will be 1.6 light-years away at its closest approach - not exactly close by! It will reach that star, 17.6 light-years away, in 40,000 years.

Voyager 2 will go by Ross 248, a red dwarf currently 10 light-years away. The craft will take 40,000 years to get there. 256,000 years later, Voyager 2 will come within 4.3 light-years of Sirius.

The probes will have absolutely no power by that time.

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    $\begingroup$ @PeterU Nothing, they are just floating in space, and have been floating since they passed the last planet they visited. $\endgroup$ – LDC3 Dec 6 '14 at 22:27
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterU as LCD3 said, the probes are coasting, and have no means of propulsion, aside from a few thrusters, which might not be working any more. Space is a near-vacuum, so there is essentially no friction to slow them down. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Dec 6 '14 at 22:37
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterU We didn't aim them at the stars - we aimed them at the outer planets. These stars aren't planned destinations, they're just where the probes will happen to be. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Dec 6 '14 at 22:57
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterU That's a completely different question. . . There are so many relevant factors. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Dec 7 '14 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterU If you have a new question, ask them as a new question. The SE mechanism likes active users, and refering an once accepted answer makes your next question more high reputated. $\endgroup$ – peterh Dec 8 '14 at 3:30

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