NASA engineers have discovered why Voyager 1 is sending garbled data

Illustration of Voyager 1 in space.

Earlier this year, the Voyager 1 spacecraft expired 14 Started billions of miles from the earth Send some funny data to NASA. Now, the space agency’s engineers have identified and solved the problem, and no It wasn’t extraterrestrials.

The strange data was coming from Voyager 1’s attitude control and expression system, which is Responsible for maintaining the orientation of the spacecraft as it propels through interstellar space At about 38000 miles per hour.

The fuzzy telemetry data meant that Voyager 1 was transmitting information about its position and orientation that did not match the likely true location and orientation of the spacecraft. Other than that, the probe was behaving normally, as was its partner in crime, Voyager 2. Both spacecraft launched in the summer of 1977, and Voyager 1 is the farthest man-made object in the universe.

“The spacecraft is about 45 years old, far beyond what mission planners had expected. Voyager project manager Susan Dodd said when The case appeared first.

“A puzzle like this is kind of on par with the course at this point in the Voyager mission,” Dodd added.

Now, NASA engineers understand why the Expression and Attitude Control System is sending crap data. The system began sending telemetry through a faulty computer aboard Voyager 1, and the computer corrupted the information before it could be read on Earth.

TThe Voyager 1 team simply made the spacecraft begin sending data to the correct computer, to correct the problem. They’re not sure why the system started sending telemetry to the faulty computer to start with.

“We’re excited to have telemetry back,” Dodd said at NASA JPL. Release. “We are going to read an entire memory of AACS and look at everything it was doing. That will help us try to diagnose the problem that caused the telemetry problem in the first place.”

The good news is that the defective computer does not appear to be transmitting HAL 9000 on Voyager 1; Otherwise, the space probe was in good health. On September 5, the mission will celebrate its 45th year, a feat that Voyager 2 achieved on August 20.

Since the telemetry problem was first announced, Voyager 1 traveled another 100,000,000 miles. It’s a small technical solution for humans, but it ensures that we can track the intrepid space probe as it continues its extraordinary journey into deep space.

More: The Voyager 2 team released the first scientific data on interstellar space

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