Broken down billions of miles away, Voyager 1 is repaired

Earlier this year, the Voyager 1 probe began returning garbled data, worrying NASA researchers. In a press release, the team in charge of the project indicates that the problem is now solved, while the probe is now more than 23.5 billion kilometers from Earth.

Voyager 1 © NASA

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have been exploring our solar system for 45 years. Both probes are now in interstellar spacea region outside the heliopause (the boundary where the Sun’s solar wind is stopped by the interstellar medium).

Celebrating the 45th anniversary of the craft’s launch on Tuesday, Voyager mission researchers managed to solve a problem affecting its decades-old technology. Yet, as of September 7, 2022, the probe was about 23,558,175,505 kilometers (157.508 astronomical units) of the Earth, making it the furthest human-like object on our planet.

Voyager 1’s telemetry is operational again

Earlier this year, Voyager 1 had started returning truncated data, making scientists fear the worst. The problem therefore seems to have been corrected, according to NASA. The probe’s Attitude and Articulation Control System (AACS), which keeps Voyager 1’s antenna pointed at Earth, had begun sending garbled information about its health and activities to mission managers. .

The team has since located the source of this garbled information : the AACS, which had started sending the telemetry data via an on-board computer known to have stopped working years ago.

To read : NASA finds giant plasmoid around Uranus in old Voyager 2 data

We are happy to have the telemetry back Voyager project lead Suzanne Dodd said in a press release. ” We’ll do a full read of the AACS’ memoir and examine everything it picked up. This will also help us to try to better diagnose this telemetry problem. So we’re cautiously optimistic, but we still have more investigation to do. she added.

Voyager 1 also carries a gold record with photos of terrestrial fauna and images of human beings. This small piece of luggage also includes a CD of Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry, as well as a message from then-President Jimmy Carter.

Project officials believe that Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 could be offline by 2025.

Source : NASA

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