Voyager 1 sends cryptic data from outside our solar system

(ORDO NEWS) — Voyager 1 continues its journey beyond our solar system 45 years after launch. But now the veteran spacecraft is sending back strange data, baffling engineers.

NASA said Wednesday that while the probe is still working properly, readings from its articulation and attitude control system – AACS for short – do not appear to match the spacecraft’s movements and attitude, suggesting the craft has become confused about its location in space.

The system is necessary for Voyager to send data about the interstellar environment around it, since the ship’s antenna is pointed directly at our planet.

NASA has stated that Voyager 1’s twin, the Voyager 2 probe, is behaving normally.

Launched in 1977 to explore the outer planets in our solar system, Voyager 1 has remained operational for much longer than expected and continues to send information about its journey back to Earth.

The space probe left our solar system and entered interstellar space in 2012. It is now at a distance of 23 billion kilometers from Earth, making it the most distant human-made object.

NASA said that from what engineers can tell, Voyager 1’s AACS is sending randomly generated data that “does not reflect what is actually happening on board.”

“Until the nature of the problem is understood, the team cannot predict whether this will affect how long the spacecraft can collect and transmit scientific data,” NASA said.

It takes light 20 hours and 33 minutes to get to Voyager’s current interstellar location, so it takes two days for the message to travel back and forth between the space agency and Voyager.

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