Engineers fix glitch that caused Voyager 1 to transmit incorrect data

(ORDO NEWS) — Engineers have solved a problem affecting data transmission from NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft.

Earlier this year, the Probe’s Articulation and Attitude Control System (AACS), which keeps Voyager 1’s antenna pointed at Earth, began sending garbled information about its status to mission controllers.

A group of engineers discovered the source of the distorted information: AACS began sending telemetry data through the on-board computer, which, as you know, stopped working a long time ago.

Suzanne Dodd, manager of the Voyager project, said the engineers decided to try the safest solution to the problem: they ordered AACS to resume sending data to the correct computer.

Engineers don’t yet know why AACS started routing telemetry data to the wrong computer, but it likely received an erroneous command generated by another onboard computer.

If it is, then it indicates that there is a failure somewhere else. The team will continue to look for the underlying problem, but they do not think it is a threat to the long-term operation of Voyager 1.

“We will do a full analysis of the AACS memory and examine everything it did. This will help us try to diagnose the issue that caused the telemetry errors in the first place.

So we’re pretty optimistic, but we still need to investigate,” Dodd said.

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 explored our solar system for 45 years. Now both probes are in interstellar space, in a region outside the heliopause.


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