NASA fixed the Voyager 1 problem from billions of kilometers away

While the cause of Voyager 1's unexpected decision in interstellar space is still unknown, scientists managed to restore the spacecraft's communications to normal after several months.

BingMag.com NASA fixed the Voyager 1 problem from billions of kilometers away

While the cause of Voyager 1's unexpected decision in interstellar space is still unknown, scientists managed to restore the spacecraft's communications to normal after several months.

The space probe Voyager 1 was launched from the earth in September 1977 and now its journey continues with a distance of about 23.5 billion kilometers from its home. But despite this amazing distance, NASA scientists recently managed to remotely perform a repair operation on this spacecraft.

It was in May that the Voyager 1 probe began to send incomplete information from the "control system and described his orientation" (AACS). This system ensures the correct aiming of the probe's antenna towards the Earth.

  • Voyager 1 shows strange behavior in interstellar space

Although other parts of the probe continued to behave normally, the information that Voyager 1 was sending back to Earth about its health and activities did not make sense. Now, however, with an alternative to the way data is sent, this problem has been fixed.

Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, said of the troubleshooting process. : "We are glad to have telemetry back again."

Scientists realized that the spacecraft had been transmitting data through a computer that had been officially decommissioned years ago. Thus, the NASA team instructed Voyager 1 to use the appropriate computer for communications again.

But what is still not clear is why Voyager 1 decided to change the way it sends data to its home planet. Is. The most likely explanation is an incorrect command that was generated and sent from somewhere else in the probe's electronic systems.

This in turn suggests that there is another problem somewhere else, because basically this switch between Computers are intended for this purpose. However, the Voyager 1 team is confident that the spacecraft's long-term health is not in jeopardy.

Dadd noted: We are checking all the rover's activities by completely retrieving the AACS memory. This will help us identify the problem that caused the telemetry malfunction in the first place." They have traveled far enough in the past 45 years that both are now beyond the point known as the "solar stop" or "heliopause".

  • The boundary of the solar system with the interstellar space was drawn for the first time

In this region, the solar wind can no longer be felt and the space is officially known as the interstellar space.

This spacecraft has sent close-up images of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, and in recent years has recorded and the analysis of T Voyager 1 has not yet entered safe mode, indicating that the spacecraft is not detecting any problems and that its signal has not weakened. All is well, and it can continue to report for many years.

We are cautiously optimistic, but we still need to do more investigation,'' Voyager's project manager emphasized.

Cover photo: A graphic design of the Voyager 1 probe in interstellar space
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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