45-Yr-Previous Voyager 1 Area Probe Simply Bought a Software program Replace

45-Yr-Previous Voyager 1 Area Probe Simply Bought a Software program Replace

NASA launched the Voyager 1 and a couple of area probes in 1977 to discover the outer photo voltaic system, and 45 years later, each are nonetheless (partially) practical. Voyager 1, which is over 14 billion miles from Earth, simply bought a software program replace.

NASA, the civil area company of america authorities, first reported a {hardware} drawback with Voyager 1 again in Might. The probe’s articulation and management system (AACS), which is answerable for aligning Voyager’s antenna to purpose on the Earth, wasn’t returning correct telemetry information. NASA engineers later discovered the trigger — the AACS was sending information via an onboard pc “identified to have stopped working years in the past.”

The issue was solved by sending a command to Voyager’s AACS, instructing it to make use of the proper pc for information processing. That may sound like a easy repair, however Voyager 1 is over 14 billion miles from Earth (~22 billion km), working on decreased energy and a weak radio connection. Voyager 1 and a couple of have been additionally designed within the Nineteen Seventies, so their computer systems aren’t precisely probably the most fashionable gear.

Voyager 1, which was launched on September 5, 1977, was constructed to fly by Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn’s largest moon Triton. It continued its outwards path since then, and is at the moment within the “interstellar medium,” a high-radiation area of area past our personal photo voltaic system. Voyager 1 has had different technical issues not too long ago — NASA needed to switch Voyager 1 to backup thrusters in 2017, that are nonetheless working, regardless that that they had been unused for 37 years by that time.

Each Voyager 1 and a couple of are anticipated to proceed working not less than one science instrument till around 2025, when energy from their thermoelectric generator drops too low.

Supply: NASA
By way of: The Register