NASA briefly loses contact with one among its most distant spacecraft

Image of the Voyager 2 spacecraft.

Enlarge / An artist’s interpretation of Voyager 2, pointed to transmit information to Earth. (credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A couple of week in the past, operators of the Voyager 2 spacecraft despatched a collection of instructions that inadvertently triggered the distant probe to level its antenna barely away from Earth. Because of this, NASA has misplaced contact with the spacecraft, which is almost half a century outdated and presently 19.9 billion km away from the planet.

In the intervening time, NASA and the mission’s scientists aren’t panicking. In an replace posted Friday, the house company stated Voyager 2 is programmed to reset its orientation a number of instances a 12 months to maintain its antenna pointing at Earth. It’s scheduled to take action once more on October 15, which ought to permit communication to renew. Within the meantime, NASA stated it doesn’t anticipate the spacecraft veering off target.

Launched individually in 1977 on two totally different rockets, the Voyager 1 and a pair of spacecraft have been true trailblazers for NASA and the world. By no means earlier than had a spacecraft visited 4 worlds in a single, grand tour as the 2 Voyager probes did within the 1970s and 1980s with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Learn 2 remaining paragraphs | Feedback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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