NASA Voyager 1 Space Probe From ’70s Troubled by Mysterious Glitch

NASA’s 45-year-old Voyager 1 spacecraft is a marvel.  It is cruising alongside outdoors our photo voltaic system and nonetheless staying in contact with Earth. However it’s introduced its workforce with what NASA is looking a “thriller.” It is working usually however sending again some odd telemetry information.

The problem doubtless traces to Voyager 1’s angle articulation and management system (AACS), which handles its orientation in house, together with the duty of protecting its antenna pointed at Earth

“All indicators counsel the AACS continues to be working, however the telemetry information it is returning is invalid. As an example, the information might seem like randomly generated, or doesn’t replicate any potential state the AACS may very well be in,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab mentioned in a press release Wednesday.

The info is not making sense, however Voyager 1 is sustaining a transparent line of communication with dwelling and the issue hasn’t triggered a protecting “protected mode.” 

The dual spacecraft Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 launched within the Seventies and have lengthy outlasted their anticipated lifespans. They’re each in interstellar house, which Voyager 1 and a couple of venture supervisor Suzanne Dodd describes as a “high-radiation surroundings that no spacecraft have flown in earlier than.”

Voyager 1 is roughly 14.5 billion miles (23.3 billion kilometers) away from dwelling. It takes a pair days to ship a sign after which hear again, which provides to the problem of understanding what is going on on. This leaves NASA with a complete lot of unknowns. Is the AACS the wrongdoer or is one other system experiencing a glitch? Will Voyager 1 be capable to proceed its science mission?   

There are methods ahead from this glitch. Voyager 1 may reside with it. Or a software program repair or a swap to backup {hardware} may very well be the answer. NASA hopes each Voyagers will proceed to ship again science information past 2025. 

Stated Dodd, “A thriller like that is form of par for the course at this stage of the Voyager mission.”

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