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Voyager 1 is restored after a very long-distance NASA fix, approximately 15 billion miles away.

The Voyager 1 spacecraft left the planet in September 1977 and has already traveled 23.5 billion kilometers (14.6 billion miles) away. However, despite that incredible distance, NASA experts have recently repaired the ship.

Voyager 1’s attitude articulation and control system (AACS), the component of the probe that makes sure its antenna is oriented toward Earth, has been sending back jumbled data since May.

The information the probe provided back regarding its activities and health didn’t make sense, despite the fact that the rest of it continued to perform properly. The problem has now been resolved by altering the method data is relayed back from Voyager 1.

At the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, Voyager’s project manager Suzanne Dodd comments, “We’re pleased to receive the telemetry back.”

It was discovered by scientists that the spaceship had started broadcasting data using an on-board computer that was believed to have malfunctioned years before. Voyager 1 was instructed by the NASA crew to return to the proper communications computer.

Voyager 1 started modifying how it sent data back to its home planet, although we don’t yet know why. The most likely cause is a defective command that came from another location on the probe’s electronic systems.

An illustration of the Voyager 1 spacecraft. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The fact that the computer transition was done indicates that there must be another issue someplace else. The Voyager 1 crew is certain that the spacecraft’s long-term safety is not in danger, nevertheless.

We’ll read out the AACS’s whole memory and examine what it has been doing, says Dodd. That will assist us in trying to identify the issue that initially led to the telemetry issue.

Both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have gone so far in 45 years that they are now beyond the heliopause, when the Sun’s solar winds can no longer be felt and space is considered to be interstellar. Voyager 1 actually launched a month before its twin.

Even though a message may take up to two days to reach the necessary distance, Voyager 1 turned down some of its systems and lost some capability during that period, while Voyager 2 required some debugging as well. Nevertheless, both probes continue to report back to Earth.

In recent years, the spacecraft have continued to record and analyze the strange and beautiful experiences they are experiencing in space. The spacecraft have sent back photographs from near to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Voyager 1 hasn’t entered “safe mode,” indicating that it hasn’t found anything wrong, and the spacecraft’s signal hasn’t diminished. If all goes well, it will be able to report for many years to come.

Dodd adds, “We’re cautiously hopeful, but we still need to undertake more research.

You can keep track of the probe on the Voyager Mission Status website.


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