February 25, 2024

NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft sends mysterious code to Earth

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NASA experts are frantically searching for a solution to the current problem of the Voyager space probe. The large distance from the ground is also responsible.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – No space probe is farther from Earth than NASA’s Voyager 1. The spacecraft launched into space with its dual Voyager 2 probe in the fall of 1977, and both remain active today. At 46 years old, both vehicles occasionally have problems. This time it’s up to Voyager 1. in It is more than 24 billion kilometers away from Earth The space probe actually sends back valuable scientific data from interstellar space. Voyager 1 left the solar system behind for several years.

But NASA is not currently receiving any scientific data. Instead, the probe simply sends out “a repeating pattern of 1s and 0s as if it were stuck.” I was informed NASA. Although the probe receives commands from Earth and executes them, instead of the expected data, only a mysterious binary code arrives.

Voyager 1
September 5, 1977, 12:56 PM (UTC)
More than 24 billion kilometers
22 hours and 34 minutes
4 out of 10

NASA is concerned about “Voyager 1” – a space probe sending a strange code

NASA experts already have a guess about where the problem is. It appears that one of the three computers aboard Voyager 1, the Flight Data System (FDS), is not communicating properly with a subsystem called the Telemetry Modulation Unit (TMU). According to NASA, this means that the data was not sent to Earth. Last weekend, NASA experts actually tried to restart FDS and return it to the state it was in before the problem occurred. But according to the US space agency, the probe still does not provide any usable data.

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It may take several weeks to fix the issue in Voyager 1. Because the huge distance between the probe and the ground has an impact on the repair. The data sent to the probe takes 22.5 hours one way. This means that it takes 45 hours for the probe’s response to reach experts on the ground, and for them to be able to check whether the command was carried out correctly.

An undated illustration of the American space probe Voyager 1. © NASA/DPA

Voyager 1 is old and distant, and signals take 45 hours

Another obstacle that Voyager experts face is the age of space probes. The Voyager probes began their journey into space in 1977. From today’s perspective, the technology and programming on board are outdated. For each issue, teams must search through documents dating back decades. According to NASA, these words were written by engineers who did not anticipate today’s problems. Originally, the two probes were supposed to explore the solar system for only five years, and at that time, no one expected that they would continue operating until 2023.

The repair team has already gained experience repairing Voyager’s dual deep space probes, and now knows more precisely what is important. NASA emphasizes one thing above all: “The team needs time to understand how a new command will affect the operation of the spacecraft in order to avoid unintended consequences.” (unpaid bill)

The editor wrote this article and then used an AI language model to improve at her own discretion. All information has been carefully checked. Find out more about our AI principles here.