Voyager 1 Transmitting Data Again After Tech Issue Resolved

( – NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has confirmed that the Voyager 1 spacecraft is once again transmitting data to Earth after having had technical issues since November. NASA said that the craft began sending data about its operational status in April, but that it has only now been successfully ordered to study the environment around it as per its mission.

NASA scientists requested Voyager 1 send information about its environment on May 19, but only received proper responses from two of the four instruments on the spacecraft. NASA’s team then focused on recalibrating the unresponsive instruments, which took several weeks to complete. Scientists had to unscramble the binary code sent by the craft’s damaged flight data system, which allowed them to discover that the root cause of the problem was that just 3% of the flight data system’s memory had been corrupted.

As they could not repair the damaged chip, they had to come up with a creative solution: cut up and move the damaged memory to other parts of the system. Although NASA says that minor fixes are still in progress, the communication is back up and running once more.

Voyager 1 is currently the furthest away from Earth out of all known spacecrafts, presently in uncharted space over 15 billion miles away from its home planet. Its purpose is to move between different star systems gathering data on magnetic particles, magnetic fields and plasma waves. It was first sent into space on its one-way journey in 1977 along with its twin spacecraft, Voyager 2.

Voyager 2 is also still in use and currently situated 12 billion miles away from Earth. Since 2012, Voyager 1 has been in the heliosphere, the most distant part of space still affected by our sun. NASA expects it to continue to travel approximately one million miles per day while transmitting data to Earth until early in 2025, when its power levels may become too low for it to function.

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