December 6, 2022


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Voyager 1 in trouble?  NASA studies strange signals outside the solar system

Voyager 1 in trouble? NASA studies strange signals outside the solar system

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Voyager 1 was launched in September 1977, 16 days after Voyager 2 lifted off. However, there is no confusion in the naming here. Voyager 1 – although it flew in second – overtook the twin spacecraft and decades later Flight In August 2012, he crossed the solar barrier, or symbolic border Solar System.

Voyager 1 has been in interstellar space for 10 years, but – despite its age – is still operating. Currently, it is a record 23.3 billion km from Earth, which is more than 20.5 light-hours. For comparison, the Sun is located on average at a distance of just over 8 light minutes from our planet.

Voyager 1 sends out strange signals from interstellar space

But now it turns out that the probe may be in trouble. Voyager 1 is working properly, but it sends strange signals to Earth from the Articulation of Attitude and Control System (AACS). It is a system that analyzes the orientation of a ship in space so that, if necessary, scientists can decide to make the necessary correction.

Scientists are intrigued factThat the ship receives and carries out all commands from the ground, and that its research instruments still collect data and send signals of sufficient force to the ground. This means that the Voyager antenna is most likely aimed exactly at Earth. NASA believes That AACS is working fine but is sending incorrect telemetry to scientists for some reason.

Moreover, in the event of a malfunction, Voyager 1 systems should automatically start the procedure for switching the device into emergency mode. But this time, nothing like that happened, and the probe seemed to work normally.

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The engineers responsible for the mission are not yet able to diagnose the source of the problem. It is also not known how dangerous this is to Voyager itself. However, researchers now have to deal with trying to answer the question of what is responsible for the falsification of data from AACS and how the flaw can be fixed. This can take some time, unfortunately, because it takes 20 hours and 33 minutes for the radio signals to reach the probe. It takes exactly the same time for Voyager 1 to respond.

As noted by Susan Dodd, director of Voyager 1 and 2, both investigations have been for 45 years work I did much more than expected. “We’re in interstellar space – a highly radioactive environment where no spacecraft has flown before. So engineers have big challenges. But I think if there’s a way to solve the AACS problem, our team will find it,” Dodd said.

More interesting facts about space can be found on