NASA repaired Voyager 1 even though it left the solar system long ago

(ORDO NEWS) — The Voyager 1 space probe launched from Earth in September 1977 and is now about 23.5 billion kilometers from home – and this number continues to grow. But despite this mind-boggling distance, NASA scientists have just completed repairs to the ship.

Since May, Voyager 1 has been sending back garbled information from its Articulation and Attitude Control System (AACS), which is the part of the probe that points its antenna towards Earth.

Although the rest of the probe continued to behave normally, the information it sent back about its health and activities made no sense. By switching the way data is sent from Voyager 1, the problem has now been fixed.

“We’re glad telemetry is back,” said Suzanne Dodd, Voyager Project Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

Scientists were able to figure out that the spacecraft began transmitting data through the onboard computer, which, as you know, stopped working many years ago. The NASA team ordered Voyager 1 to switch back to the correct computer for communications.

What we don’t yet know is why Voyager 1 decided to start changing the way it sends data back to its home planet. The most likely explanation is an erroneous command generated somewhere else in the probe’s electronic systems.

This, in turn, suggests that there is a problem somewhere else, otherwise the computer switch would never have happened. However, the Voyager 1 crew is confident that the long-term health of the spacecraft is not at risk.

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 (which actually launched a month before its twin) have traveled such distances over the past 45 years that they are now both beyond the point known as the heliopause, where the sun no longer blows. winds, and space is officially considered interstellar.

Despite the fact that Voyager 1 has shut down some of its systems and lost some functionality during this time, and Voyager 2 also needs troubleshooting, both probes continue to send reports to Earth, although the message may take about two days. to cover the required distance.

The spacecraft sent back images from nearby Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, and in recent years has continued to record and analyze the strange and wonderful experiences they experience in space.

Voyager 1 did not initiate a “safe mode” routine, indicating that it did not detect anything faulty and the signal from the spacecraft did not weaken. If all is well, he may continue to report for years.

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