Technology

NASA fixed the glitch that caused Voyager 1 to send back jumbled data

Back in May, NASA reported that the Voyager 1 spacecraft was returning garbled or inaccurate telemetry data. The probe itself appeared to be in good shape, with a signal still strong enough to bounce information back, and nothing triggered its error protection systems that would put it into “safe mode.” Since then, according to NASA, the Voyager team has not only figured out the problem, but also solved it.

It turns out we’re getting jumbled data here on Earth because the probe’s Attitude Articulation and Control System (AACS) is sending back information about an onboard computer that stopped working years ago. The computer corrupted the data before it even ran out. Voyager project manager Suzanne Dodd said that when her team suspected this was the problem, they implemented a low-risk solution: They ordered the AACS to resend its data through the probe’s working computer.

While engineers have fixed the bug, they have yet to figure out why the AACS started routing information through the old computer in the first place. They believe it was triggered by an erroneous command from another onboard computer, itself triggered by an underlying problem with the spacecraft. Voyager’s engineers will continue to search for the root of the problem, NASA said, but they don’t think it will have a major impact on the spacecraft’s operations.

Voyager 1 has been in operation for almost 45 years and reached interstellar space in 2012. NASA expects to continue operating at least one scientific instrument until 2025, after which it will continue to drift away from our solar system until it loses contact with NASA’s Deep Space Network.

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https://www.engadget.com/nasa-fixed-glitch-voyager-1-120545004.html?src=rss NASA fixed the glitch that caused Voyager 1 to send back jumbled data

Russell Falcon

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