Voyager 1 continues its journey out Our solar system45 years after its launch, but now the spacecraft is sending out strange data, baffling its engineers, RT reported.
NASA said last Wednesday that while the probe was still operating correctly, the readings from the Expression and Attitude Control System – AACS for short – did not appear to match the spacecraft’s movements and direction, indicating that the spacecraft is confused about its position in space.
AACS is essential for Voyager to transmit NASA data about its surrounding interstellar environment as it keeps the craft’s antenna pointed toward our planet.
“An enigma like this is kind of on par with the cycle at this point in the Voyager mission,” said Susan Dodd, Voyager 1 and 2 project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “The spacecraft is approximately 45 years old, far exceeding what mission planners expected.” . Launched in 1977 to explore the outer planets of our solar system, Voyager 1 has long been working with predictions and continues to send information about flights back to Earth. The spacecraft left our solar system and entered interstellar space in 2012. It is now 14.5 billion miles from Earth, making it the farthest human-made object.
From what its engineers can tell, NASA said, Voyager 1’s AACS system is sending randomly generated data that does not “reflect what is actually happening on board.”
But even if the system data indicates otherwise, the spacecraft’s antenna appears to be properly aligned – it receives and executes commands from NASA and sends the data back to Earth. So far, she said, the system problem has not prompted the old spacecraft to enter “safe mode”, during which it only performs basic operations.
“Until the nature of the problem is better understood, the team cannot predict whether this might affect how long the spacecraft can collect and transmit scientific data,” NASA said.
“Proud explorer. Freelance social media expert. Problem solver. Gamer. Extreme travel aficionado.”
Scientists experiment with an actual tractor beam to clean up space junk
What does it mean.. Microsoft is working to increase the limits of chatting on Bing, which is supported by artificial intelligence
The discovery of a galaxy 25 million light-years away