After two weeks of efforts, the flight controllers from the space agency NASA managed to restore communication with the Voyager 2 probe. After sending the signal, scientists had to wait 37 hours for a response, but this time it brought the expected effect. According to the message, the error that caused the communication break was successfully fixed. Voyager 2 is now more than 19 billion kilometers from Earth.
The Voyager 2 spacecraft stopped communicating with Earth two weeks ago after flight controllers mistakenly sent it the wrong command that caused the spacecraft’s antenna to turn away from our planet.
On Wednesday belongs to NASA The Deep Space Network has sent a new command to the spacecraft to relocate the antenna. The command was sent to the most powerful transmitter available in Australia, connected to a huge concave antenna.
Scientists sent banished into space. After 37 hours, the answer came
To establish contact with the Earth, the antenna of the 46-year-old probe had to change its position by only 2 percent. The signal sent from Earth took about 18 hours to reach Voyager 2. It took another 18 hours for a possible response. The probe is more than 19 billion km from Earth in interstellar space.
This time, after two weeks of previous efforts, the attempt was successful. On Friday, NASA’s California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said the spacecraft had started transmitting data again.
On another NASA Twitter account related to the Voyager missions, a joking post was posted.
“Can you hear me now? Last night I restored full communication with Earth through quick thinking and a lot of cooperation. I am operating normally and staying on the expected trajectory. So happy to finally call home,” it wrote. And signed “-V2”
Voyager 2 mission
Voyager 2 has been traveling in space since 1977. The mission was initially intended to explore the outer solar system, but the probe did not stop functioning after leaving our system when it entered interstellar space.
The twin probe Voyager 1 is currently the most distant man-made object in space. It is separated from the Earth by about 24 billion km.
Main photo source: NASA/JPL-Caltech