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Voyager 1: NASA’s longest-running spacecraft again in contact with Earth after 5 months of silence | Science & Tech Information

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NASA’s longest-running spacecraft Voyager 1 is sending info again to Earth once more for the primary time since November.

Scientists have managed to repair an issue on the probe, which was launched 46 years in the past, after 5 months of silence.

On 14 November final yr, Voyager 1 stopped sending usable information again to Earth, though scientists may inform it was nonetheless receiving their instructions and dealing effectively in any other case.

It was first launched alongside its twin, Voyager 2. The pair are the one spacecraft to ever fly in interstellar space, which is the area between stars.

The Voyager probes ship again never-seen-before details about our galaxy. Since they blasted off in 1977, they’ve revealed particulars in Saturn’s rings, supplied the primary in-depth pictures of the rings of Uranus and Neptune and found the rings of Jupiter.

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An image of Saturn taken by the Voyager spacecrafts within the Eighties. Pic: NASA

Though their cameras are switched off to preserve energy and reminiscence, they’re nonetheless sending again info that may be unimaginable to get anyplace else.

With all this information caught onboard and the spacecraft greater than 15 billion miles from Earth, NASA scientists wanted to repair the issue remotely.

The workforce at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California confirmed in March that the difficulty was with certainly one of Voyager 1’s three onboard computer systems. That laptop, known as the flight information subsystem, is accountable for packaging the info up earlier than it’s despatched again to Earth.

Inside the laptop, a single chip containing among the laptop’s software program code had stopped working. With out that code, the info was unusable.

The engineers could not pop over and repair it. As a substitute, on 18 April, they remotely cut up the code throughout completely different components of the pc.

A picture of Jupiter taken by the Voyager spacecrafts. Pic: NASA
An image of Jupiter taken by the Voyager spacecrafts. Pic: NASA

Then they needed to wait to see if their repair had labored.

It takes round 22-and-a-half hours for a radio sign to achieve Voyager 1 and one other 22-and-a-half hours for a response to come back again.

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On 20 April, the workforce bought excellent news. For the primary time in 5 months, they have been in touch with Voyager 1 once more and will test the well being and standing of the spacecraft.

Now, they’re going to regulate the remainder of the pc so it could start sending again extra information.

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Voyager 2 is working usually and heading in the direction of a star known as Ross 248. It’s going to come inside 1.7 mild years of it in round 40,000 years.

Voyager 1 will virtually attain a star within the Little Dipper constellation in 38,200 years from now.

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