Is 8 track tape the most durable and reliable media? JPL's Voyagers suggest the answer is Yes!

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KSS
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Is 8 track tape the most durable and reliable media? JPL's Voyagers suggest the answer is Yes!

Post by KSS »

Came across this article yesterday.
https://news.yahoo.com/nasa-starting-sh ... 22555.html

It's basically a summary of this earlier article
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... ower-down/

After reading about how far away these spacecraft are -as BHA* Carl Sagan would say, "billions and billions of miles"- and that they've been through the ravages of space for forty four years, the authors dropped this gem.
SciAm article wrote:All the data collected by the spacecraft instruments would be stored on eight-track tape recorders
My mind goes back to romantic nights in the fastback GTO, with the soundtrack provided by the then ubiquitous 8 track player DIY'd under the dashboard.
And the shoebox filled with alternate 8 track tapes.

Then even more incredulously,
NASA and JPL have been using an 8 track tape as the Voyagers primary memory and sensors recording media since 1977?!? :hmm: :despair: :eek:

Makes one give pause to all the bad press that format and media has been given all these years. Bill Lear -inventor of the 8track tape and player along with his famous jet- would be proud. :hail:

Today there's news that one of the mars rovers is -or will soon be- giving up the ghost less than a decade after launch. :doh:
Maybe they shoulda used 8 track tape too? :hihi:

*https://www.engadget.com/2014-02-26-whe ... twice.html
https://www.cracked.com/article_31076_c ... -head.html
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Re: Is 8 track tape the most durable and reliable media? JPL's Voyagers suggest the answer is Yes!

Post by kinkujin »

Only problem being in the middle of a data stream, clunk clunk, and interrupts the flow.
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Re: Is 8 track tape the most durable and reliable media? JPL's Voyagers suggest the answer is Yes!

Post by Licudi »

KSS wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:55 amBill Lear -inventor of the 8track tape and player along with his famous jet- would be proud. :hail:
Today he'd more likely be rueing the failure of his Vapordyne/Delta. :waah:
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Re: Is 8 track tape the most durable and reliable media? JPL's Voyagers suggest the answer is Yes!

Post by ObsoleteModular »

KSS wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:55 amToday there's news that one of the mars rovers is -or will soon be- giving up the ghost less than a decade after launch. :doh:
Who can blame it, after Spirit's betrayal?

spirit.png
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Re: Is 8 track tape the most durable and reliable media? JPL's Voyagers suggest the answer is Yes!

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Nice
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Re: Is 8 track tape the most durable and reliable media? JPL's Voyagers suggest the answer is Yes!

Post by tim gueguen »

The eight track unit on Voyager 1 isn't an 8 track cartridge machine, it's a compact reel to reel unit. It's more like a Nagra in design.
https://hackaday.com/2018/11/29/interst ... f-voyager/
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Re: Is 8 track tape the most durable and reliable media? JPL's Voyagers suggest the answer is Yes!

Post by maxl0rd »

Yea, it’s a highly custom instrumentation/data recorder. Nothing like a hifi 8-track.

It’s more like a miniaturized Ampex open reel data recorder like NASA used on the ground.
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Re: Is 8 track tape the most durable and reliable media? JPL's Voyagers suggest the answer is Yes!

Post by KSS »

tim gueguen wrote:The eight track unit on Voyager 1 isn't an 8 track cartridge machine, it's a compact reel to reel unit. It's more like a Nagra in design.
https://hackaday.com/2018/11/29/interst ... f-voyager/
There's always that guy googling on their phone.. Spoilsport! :lol:

More seriously, Thanks for the link. Love the hackaday article lead drawing.

@maxl0rd
It's 24 x 10 inches with approximately 8" 200mm reels. Not exactly miniaturized.
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Re: Is 8 track tape the most durable and reliable media? JPL's Voyagers suggest the answer is Yes!

Post by ObsoleteModular »

KSS wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 7:39 am
tim gueguen wrote:The eight track unit on Voyager 1 isn't an 8 track cartridge machine, it's a compact reel to reel unit. It's more like a Nagra in design.
https://hackaday.com/2018/11/29/interst ... f-voyager/
There's always that guy googling on their phone.. Spoilsport! :lol:
I'm sticking with your version of events. As the Irish are fond of saying, why spoil a good story with the truth? :goo:
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Re: Is 8 track tape the most durable and reliable media? JPL's Voyagers suggest the answer is Yes!

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Re: Is 8 track tape the most durable and reliable media? JPL's Voyagers suggest the answer is Yes!

Post by Unborn Gore »

It would be the psychonauts dream to lay their hands on one of those NASA 8-track machines.
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