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The Voyager 1 space probe appears to be confused about its location

The Voyager 1 space probe appears to be confused about its location

Traveling 1 – one of two space probes launched by NASA in 1977 to study Jupiter, Saturn and its moons – sending confusing data to Earth, according to space agency. The spacecraft’s control system regularly sends telemetry data to NASA to indicate its position. But Voyager 1’s engineering team has recently been baffled by spacecraft readings that contain mixed or inaccurate data. Even more alarming is that the 45-year-old probe is in good shape – its signals are still strong and the glitch hasn’t triggered safe mode. Voyager 2 (Voyager 1’s Sister’s achievementIt looks absolutely fine.

“Such a puzzle is a bit like the trajectory at this point in the Voyager mission,” said Susan Dodd, Voyager project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The spacecraft is about 45 years old, far beyond what mission planners expected. We’re also in interstellar space – a highly radioactive environment where no spacecraft has flown before. So there are some big challenges for the engineering team.”

Communicating with Voyager 1 is easier said than done. Both probes are now farther from Earth than him Pluto Voyager 1 is a file estimated 14.5 billion miles from our planet. It takes approximately two days to receive a response from the spacecraft after sending a message, according to NASA.

Dodd said NASA could solve the problem with software changes or one of the spacecraft’s redundant hardware systems. If this is not the case, the agency will have to “adapt” to this defect.

Anyway, NASA lose contact With the two drones in the next few years when the power supply ran out. Both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 run on plutonium-238, which decays over time. Scientists Appreciation That by 2025, none of the sensors will have enough plutonium-238 to function properly. There is a limited supply of plutonium remaining on Earth, and producing it is time-consuming and challenging. For many years, Russia has supplied NASA with plutonium-238, so far I cut This deal was in 2015. Fortunately for NASA, the US Department of Energy re Domestic production of plutonium 238 inches Oak Ridge LaboratoryAvailability of a range of current and future NASA missions – including NASA Rover perseverance.

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