The old computers aboard Voyager 1 are creaking

The old computers aboard Voyager 1 are creaking

Humanity’s remote spacecraft malfunctions again, and engineers are having a very difficult time solving the problem. Voyager 1, what are we going to do with you?

The problem lies with Voyager 1’s 46-year-old flight data system (FDS), one of three onboard computers. The FDS collects data from Voyager’s science instruments and takes data about the spacecraft’s condition and general health. The system does not communicate properly with the telemetry modulation unit, which actually takes the data collected by the system and sends it back to Earth.

This is the latest in a series of communications problems with the old Voyager 1 spacecraft, which launched in 1977, shortly after the launch of its twin Voyager 2 spacecraft. In May 2022, the probe suddenly began transmitting Expression and control of irrational situations (AACS) data.. Susan Dodd, project manager for the Voyager missions, described the glitch as “par for the course at this point.”

It turns out that the data was transmitted by a faulty computer on board the spacecraft, causing it to read as gibberish to interpreters on Earth. Engineers solved the problem by sending the telemetry through one of the spacecraft’s other computers. In the three months between the problem’s appearance and its resolution, Voyager 1 traveled 100 million miles.

In December 2023, Voyager 1 resumed transmitting cryptic speech: The telemetry modulator has started emitting a binary code that seems to indicate that it is stuck. The mission team believes the problem really lies with the Department of Defense and Security (FDS), where the data actually comes from. The Voyager team tried to fix the problem by restarting FDS, but that failed. The nonsense continued. Voyager 1 is 15.14 billion miles away It continues to hurtle at a speed of just over 38,000 miles per hour. Two months have passed, and the problem is still unresolved.

“We can talk to the spacecraft, and it can hear us, but that’s a slow process given the spacecraft’s incredible distance from Earth,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory came on Twitter. Each message sent to Voyager takes 22.5 hours to reach the probe, and vice versa.

After all, the Voyager missions are approximately 50 years old. They served their original purpose decades ago, so every day we get data from them is a bonus. When the two Voyager spacecraft finally lift off or stop collecting data, they will still be soaring — soaring — into starry infinity, an intrepid retirement project any of us could dream of.

more: NASA Power Hack Extends Voyager 2’s 45-Year Mission Longer

(Tags for translation)Voyager 1

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

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