NASA’s Voyager1 Forty-five years after its launch, it continues its journey beyond our solar system. But now that senior spacecraft is sending strange data, confusing its engineers.
NASA Said Wednesday While the probe is still functioning properly, readings from its approach and control system – abbreviated AACS – do not match the spacecraft’s movements and orientation, suggesting confusion about its location in space.
AACS is essential for Voyager to send data about its surrounding galaxy environment to NASA because it points the craft antenna directly at our planet.
“Both spacecraft are nearly 45 years old, much larger than mission planners expected.”
NASA says Voyager 1’s dual, Voyager 2 probe is running normally.
Launched in 1977 To explore extrasolar planets in our solar system, Voyager 1 is operating in line with past expectations and continuously sending information about its travels to Earth. The Trailblazing Craft left our solar system Interstellar entered space in 2012. It is now 14.5 billion miles from Earth, becoming the most man-made distant object.
NASA said what its engineers could say was that Voyager 1’s AACS sends roughly generated data that “does not actually reflect what is happening on board.”
But the computer data says otherwise, the spacecraft’s antenna seems to be properly aligned – it receives and executes commands from NASA and sends the data back to Earth. So far the computer problem has not prompted the aging spacecraft to go into “safe mode”, during which it said it was only performing essential functions.
“Until the nature of the problem is well understood, the team cannot expect this to affect how long the spacecraft can collect and transmit scientific data,” NASA said.
Todd and his team hope to find out what triggered the robot messenger to send junk data from Earth.
“There are some big challenges for the engineering team,” Todd said.
Important: It takes 20 hours and 33 minutes to reach Voyager’s current galaxy location, so a round-trip message between the space agency and Voyager takes two days.
“But if there’s a way to solve this problem with AACS, I think our team will find it,” Todd added.
This article was originally published Business Insider.
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