Boss Digital


NASA resumes communications with Voyager 1 probe after remote fix, 15 billion miles from Earth

Space IT support: After months of doubts, uncertainties, and somber predictions, NASA was finally able to establish communication with Voyager 1’s flight system and assess its status. The probe is still operational as expected, and the space agency is now preparing to retrieve new flight data from it.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has confirmed that Voyager 1 remains in good health. The team has identified the issue affecting the probe’s ability to transmit valuable scientific data back to Earth, and engineers are now working to implement the necessary fix to reroute communications “around” the malfunctioning chip found through “inventive sleuthing.”

For the first time since November, Voyager 1 is once again transmitting usable data about the status of its onboard systems. The legendary probe began transmitting digital gibberish on November 14, 2023, although mission control could still discern that the spacecraft was receiving their commands and operating normally.

Voyager engineers pinpointed the source of the issue in March 2024 when they discovered that the probe’s flight data subsystem (FDS) was not functioning as intended. The FDS, one of Voyager’s three onboard “computers,” is responsible for packaging scientific and engineering data before transmitting it back to Earth via NASA’s Deep Space Network ground receivers.

One of the chips within the FDS is not functioning, NASA engineers have now discovered. This chip stores a portion of the FDS memory, including some of the system’s software code. However, NASA cannot physically replace it in outer space, billions of kilometers away.

The US space agency has devised a plan to relocate the aforementioned code elsewhere within the FDS system. However, the code will need to be divided into different sections and stored in multiple locations within the FDS. NASA emphasizes that this is a complex plan, requiring adjustments to ensure that the code will still function as intended.

Engineers will commence the relocation of the affected code in the coming weeks. Following this, Voyager 1 should resume sending usable scientific data back to Earth.

The Voyager 1 space probe was launched on September 5, 1977, with a mission to study the outer Solar System over a span of three to four years. After transmitting spectacular images and valuable data about Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn’s moon Titan, Voyager 1 is now journeying through interstellar space beyond the Sun’s heliosphere.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top