July 14, 2024

Solid State Lighting Design

Find latest world news and headlines today based on politics, crime, entertainment, sports, lifestyle, technology and many more

NASA says Voyager 1 has come back from the brink after a major malfunction

NASA says Voyager 1 has come back from the brink after a major malfunction

Several months after a serious computer problem appeared to put an end to the Voyager 1 spacecraft, which for nearly half a century had provided data on the exoplanets and far reaches of the solar system, NASA announced Thursday that it had put the spacecraft back into operation. to request.

“The spacecraft has resumed collecting information about interstellar space.” NASA said in its announcement of Voyager 1, the farthest human-made object in space.

Since the problem surfaced in November, engineers have been working to diagnose and fix the problem, a tedious and lengthy process complicated by the fact that it takes about two days to send and receive information from Voyager 1, the first human-made object. ever to enter interstellar space and is currently more than 15 billion miles from Earth.

The space community has been holding its breath for the past year, as the prospect of repairing the aging probe seemed more dire than ever.

In February, Voyager mission project manager Susan Dodd said the problem, which hampered Voyager 1’s ability to send coherent engineering and science data to Earth, was the “most serious problem” the probe had encountered since she began commanding the mission in 2018. 2010.

Voyager 1 and its twin probe, Voyager 2, were launched in 1977 on a mission to explore exoplanets. NASA took advantage of a rare alignment in the solar system that enabled probes to visit the four outer planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune — using the gravity of each to swing to the next planet.

Following the success of its planetary mission, Voyager 1 continued its journey toward the edge of the solar system, and in 1990 captured a legendary image of Earth — a tiny speck in infinite darkness that became known as the “Pale Blue Dot.”

See also  Release ESA juice on a cosmic treasure hunt

In 2012, the probe became the first to cross into interstellar space, and since then, along with its twin, which followed six years later, it has collected data about the heliosphere, the space surrounding the sun that is directly under the influence of the sun.

Perhaps as deep as the pale blue dot, each spacecraft is equipped with a golden phonograph loaded with audio recordings and images showing humanity and life on Earth, begging to be discovered by another civilization one day.

Prospects for Voyager 1 recovery have improved significantly in April, when NASA reported that it had managed to get the probe to send back “usable” data about its engineering systems and safety. This was followed by news late last month that the team had restored the functionality of two of Voyager 1’s scientific instruments, allowing it to transmit scientific data and continue its mission.

The agency announced Thursday that it has brought the remaining instruments back online and returned Voyager 1 to normal operations.

However, Voyager 1’s new lease on life may not last long. NASA previously estimated that the nuclear-powered generators on Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 would likely die out around 2025. But Voyager 1 has already proven it can beat the odds. Ms. Dodd hopes that the two Voyager spacecraft will be able to reach the mission’s 50th anniversary in 2027.