Voyager 1 space probe suddenly sends wacky data to NASA

An illustration of Voyager 1 entering deep space.

Voyager 1 is almost 14.5 billion kilometers from Earth and continues to rush out of the solar system at about 38,000 miles per hour. But NASA engineers working on the 44-year-old spacecraft have recently been vexed by the probe’s articulation and control system, which generates data that seems completely random.

“A mystery like this is sort of par for the course at this point in the Voyager mission,” Suzanne Dodd, project manager for Voyager 1 and 2 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, said in a statement. a NASA report. Release.

Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 has been in interstellar space for nearly 10 years. Impressively, the spacecraft continues to send data back to Earth, but recently its telemetry data has been invalid; according to Nasathe data simply does not match Voyager 1’s actual position and conditions.

The VOyager’s team continues to examine the Bizarre Attitude Control and Articulation (AACS) data; they don’t know if the problem is directly with this system or with another part of the spacecraft.

“The spacecraft are both nearly 45 years old, which is far beyond what mission planners had anticipated. We are also in interstellar space – a high-radiation environment in which no spacecraft can ‘ve flown before,” Dodd added. “There are some big challenges for the engineering team, but I think if there’s a way to fix that with AACS, our team will find it.

Just because Voyager spacecraft are old doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. Data probes revealed a hitherto unknown phenomenon of the interstellar medium, and Voyager 1 recently oscillations detected in the plasma deep space. It’s essentially the spaceship equivalent of Tom Brady winning a Super Bowl at age 43.

It’s possible that the source of the gibberish data readings is unidentified, and NASA engineers are simply learning to live with the weirdness. The issue does not affect any of Voyager 1’s science instruments, which all remain operational 44 years later, and the team expects both spacecraft to continue operating beyond 2025.

More: Voyager 2 team releases first scientific data on interstellar space

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