RR Auction Home
Current Auction Is Open For Bidding
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About Us   Featured Lots   Reviews 
Bidder Login
Show Password

New Bidder Registration
Forgot your password?

The Current Auction
Ends December 9th
Steve Jobs + Apple Auction Preview
Begins Dec 10
Advanced Search
By Item Number
Gallery Search
Past Auction Search
How Do I Bid?
What is BidTracker™?
New Bidder Registration
The 30-Minute Rule
Terms and Conditions
New to RR Auction?
About Us
Register to Bid
Jobs at RR Auction
Press Releases
Consign to RR Auction
How to Consign
2019-2020 Auction Calendar
Jan 8
Jan 16
Jan 23
Feb 5
Feb 13
Feb 21
Mar 4
Mar 12
Apr 8
Apr 16
May 13
May 21
Jun 10
Jun 18
Jul 8
Jul 16
Jul 23
Aug 12
Aug 20
Sep 9
Sep 11
Oct 7
Oct 15
Nov 11
Nov 19
Dec 9
Dec 17
Jan 13
Jan 21
Feb 10
Feb 18
Mar 10
Mar 18
  View All Dates & Deadlines

Item 8021 - Voyager Spacecraft RTG Model Catalog 581 (Apr 2020)

Back To Previous Page
(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $200.00
Sold Price: $3,941.25 (includes buyer's premium)


Exquisite full-scale contractor model of the deep-space Voyager spacecraft nuclear battery made for JPL, set upon a wood-framed base, measuring an overall 20″ x 25.5″ x 20″, and weighing 48 lbs; the RTG cylinder is 15.5” in diameter. The placard on the base reads: "Multihundred-Watt Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, General Electric, Full : Scale." The appealing 'cutaway' design of the model reveals the plutonium pellet core. In fine condition. The model will be crated and shipped from California; the buyer is responsible for all associated costs.

Space exploration missions require safe, reliable, long-lived power systems to provide electricity and heat to spacecraft and their scientific instruments. A uniquely capable source of power is the radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG)—essentially a nuclear battery that reliably converts heat into electricity. The Multihundred-Watt Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MHW RTG) was developed for the Voyager spacecrafts, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. These RTGs on Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have been operating since 1977. Voyager 1 is operating over 13 billion miles from Earth and Voyager 2 recently came fully back on-line, over 11 billion miles from Earth, voyaging farther than any other man-made objects. This is too far from the sun for solar cells to power its electronics, and so JPL designed it to use an RTG to provide power for many decades. Each RTG had a total weight of 37.7 kg including about 4.5 kg of Pu-238; these 24 pressed plutonium-238 oxide spheres provide enough heat to generate approximately 157 watts of electrical power initially, halving every 87.7 years. Each RTG generated about 2400 Watts of thermal power. Conversion of the decay heat of the plutonium to electrical power used 312 silicon-germanium (SiGe) thermoelectric couples. The initial thermoelectric couple hot junction temperature was 1000°C with a cold junction temperature of 300°C. Each Voyager spacecraft has three RTGs, which collectively supplied each spacecraft with 470 watts at launch. Radioisotope power has been used on eight Earth orbiting missions, eight missions traveling to each of the outer planets, and lunar surface experiment packages for Apollo missions 12 through 17. Some of the outer Solar System missions are the Pioneer, Voyager, Ulysses, Galileo, Cassini, and New Horizons missions.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.


Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge

Important Information

Tips For Consignors


For a complete list of auction beginning and ending dates, check our dates and deadlines page.