NASA has succeeded in re-establishing full contact with Voyager 2 by utilizing its highest-power transmitter to ship an “interstellar shout” that righted the distant probe’s antenna orientation, the house company mentioned Friday.
Launched in 1977 to discover the outer planets and function a beacon of humanity to the broader universe, it’s at the moment greater than 12.3 billion miles (19.9 billion kilometers) from our planet — nicely past the photo voltaic system.
A collection of deliberate instructions despatched to the spaceship on July 21 mistakenly induced the antenna to level two levels away from Earth, compromising its means to ship and obtain alerts and endangering its mission.
The scenario was not anticipated to be resolved till no less than October 15 when Voyager 2 was scheduled to hold out an automatic realignment maneuver.
However on Tuesday, engineers enlisted the assistance of a number of Earth observatories that kind the Deep Area Community (DSN) to detect a provider or “heartbeat” wave from Voyager 2, although the sign was nonetheless too faint to learn the info it carried.
In a brand new replace on Friday, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which constructed and operates the probe, mentioned it had succeeded in a longshot effort to ship directions that righted the craft.
“The Deep Area Community used the highest-power transmitter to ship the command (the 100-kw S-band uplink from the Canberra website) and timed it to be despatched throughout the very best situations throughout the antenna monitoring move so as to maximize doable receipt of the command by the spacecraft,” Voyager undertaking supervisor Suzanne Dodd advised AFP.
This so-called “interstellar shout” required 18.5 hours touring at gentle pace to succeed in Voyager, and it took 37 hours for mission controllers to study whether or not the command labored, JPL mentioned in an announcement.
The probe started returning science and telemetry information at 12:29 am Jap Time on August 4, “indicating it’s working usually and that it stays on its anticipated trajectory,” added JPL.
Voyager 2 left the protecting magnetic bubble offered by the Solar, known as the heliosphere, in December 2018, and is at the moment touring by means of the house between the celebs.
Earlier than leaving our photo voltaic system, it explored Jupiter and Saturn, and have become the primary and to date solely spacecraft to go to Uranus and Neptune.
Voyager 2’s twin Voyager 1 was mankind’s first spacecraft to enter the interstellar medium, in 2012, and is at the moment virtually 15 billion miles from Earth.
Each carry “Golden Data” — 12-inch, gold-plated copper disks supposed to convey the story of our world to extraterrestrials.
These embrace a map of our photo voltaic system, a chunk of uranium that serves as a radioactive clock permitting recipients to this point the spaceship’s launch, and symbols that convey methods to play the file.
The contents of the discs, chosen for NASA by a committee chaired by legendary astronomer Carl Sagan, embrace encoded pictures of life on Earth, in addition to music and sounds that may be performed utilizing an included stylus.
For now, the Voyagers proceed to transmit again scientific information, although their energy banks are anticipated to be ultimately depleted someday after 2025.
They may then proceed to wander the Milky Method, probably for eternity, in silence.
(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)
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