Lastly, engineers have a clue that would assist them save Voyager 1

Artist's illustration of the Voyager 1 spacecraft.

Enlarge / Artist’s illustration of the Voyager 1 spacecraft. (credit score: Caltech/NASA-JPL)

It has been 4 months since NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft despatched an intelligible sign again to Earth, and the issue has puzzled engineers tasked with supervising the probe exploring interstellar house.

However there is a renewed optimism among the many Voyager floor group based mostly at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. On March 1, engineers despatched a command as much as Voyager 1—greater than 15 billion miles (24 billion kilometers) away from Earth—to “gently immediate” one of many spacecraft’s computer systems to strive completely different sequences in its software program bundle. This was the newest step in NASA’s long-distance troubleshooting to attempt to isolate the reason for the issue stopping Voyager 1 from transmitting coherent telemetry knowledge.

Cracking the case

Officers suspect a bit of corrupted reminiscence contained in the Flight Information Subsystem (FDS), one among three major computer systems on the spacecraft, is the probably offender for the interruption in regular communication. As a result of Voyager 1 is so distant, it takes about 45 hours for engineers on the bottom to know the way the spacecraft reacted to their instructions—the one-way mild journey time is about 22.5 hours.

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