May 29, 2024


The Joy of Technology

Voyager 1 Talks Some Nonsense, But Is Still Working


NASA gets Voyager 1 talking again — and discovers a new mystery

The Voyager 1 interplanetary probe was introduced in 1977 and has now reached interstellar house exactly where it is the furthest-traveled man-produced item. It’s hugely exceeded its original mission and carries on to return important scientific facts, but there is an evident fault which is leaving its controllers perplexed. Onboard is an mind-set command program which retains the craft’s antennas pointing at Earth, and although it evidently nevertheless operates (as we’re continue to in contact with the probe) and other systems are good, it is started returning incomprehensible knowledge. Seemingly it is created a practice of reporting random knowledge, or states the antenna simply cannot perhaps be in.

That a 45 calendar year old pc is nevertheless operating at all is testomony to the abilities of its designers, and at 14.5 billion miles absent a repair is unachievable however considerably we’d be fascinated to know about the failure modes of old electronics in room.  It’s postulated that they could possibly only are living with the fault if the procedure is even now operating, issue a software program take care of, or locate some way to use just one of the craft’s redundant techniques to avoid the dilemma. Meanwhile we can rest easily in our beds, because we’re even now a pair of centuries absent from its return as a big alien sentient device.

We have showcased the Voyager method a couple of situations right before here at Hackaday, not the very least when we took a close seem at a person of its instruments.

Many thanks [Jon Woodcock] for the suggestion.


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