The engineering group running the Voyager 1 spacecraft– NASAs robotic planetary explorer presently zooming through interstellar space– is attempting to determine why the spacecraft is returning information readouts that dont match what the car is really doing. Its a secret that does not appear to be putting the Voyager 1 spacecraft in any immediate jeopardy, however NASA is attempting to figure it out nevertheless.
Introduced in 1977, Voyager 1 has actually been exploring the universes for almost half a century. It has a twin, Voyager 2, that was launched 16 days prior in the exact same year. Both spacecraft did tours of the external Solar System, flying by planets and photographing moons prior to ultimately traveling outside the border of our cosmic community. In 2012, Voyager 1 passed the heliopause– the limit where the Suns solar wind ends and the interstellar medium begins. At a distance of 14.5 billion miles from Earth, Voyager 1 is the farthest human-made object in area.
Its a mystery that does not appear to be putting the Voyager 1 spacecraft in any instant jeopardy
The further Voyager 1 gets from Earth, the possibility for weird things to occur with the spacecraft goes up. Now, the spacecrafts attitude articulation and control system, or AACS, is acting up. Its returning information that doesnt precisely explain what the system is doing, according to NASA.
Voyager 1 still appears all right in all other respects. Its in communication with the engineering team and its collecting science data as its expected to, NASA says. And the AACS problem hasnt triggered the spacecraft to enter into safe mode, a type of operating treatment in which the spacecraft powers down many of its instruments and only concentrates on its most necessary functions to survive.
“A mystery like this is sort of par for the course at this phase of the Voyager objective,” Suzanne Dodd, task manager for Voyager 1 and 2 at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement. Were likewise in interstellar space– a high-radiation environment that no spacecraft have actually flown in previously.”
A fix might come in the type of a software application patch. Or the Voyager 1 group may just find out to handle it. Adapting is a lifestyle for the Voyager groups. The power on both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 is lessening with time given that the nuclear batteries that keep the spacecraft running are slowly decomposing. The groups have currently needed to turn numerous systems off on the spacecraft– however in some way the science instruments are still running, even after all this time.
The farther Voyager 1 gets from Earth, the likelihood for strange things to take place with the spacecraft goes up. And the AACS issue hasnt triggered the spacecraft to go into safe mode, a type of running treatment in which the spacecraft powers down many of its instruments and just focuses on its most necessary functions to remain alive.
“A secret like this is sort of par for the course at this phase of the Voyager mission,” Suzanne Dodd, project manager for Voyager 1 and 2 at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, stated in a statement. The power on both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 is diminishing over time because the nuclear batteries that keep the spacecraft running are gradually rotting.