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Something strange is happening in the Voyager 1 interstellar study

Something strange is happening in the Voyager 1 interstellar study

Voyager 1 continues interstellar space exploration. But NASA research faces a mysterious problem, however, that does not prevent it from sending scientific data.

44 years after its inception In space, The Voyager 1 study is still active. The ship is currently being inspected Interstellar medium, However faces a very strange problem. ” We explore a mystery with Voyager 1 Says NASA On Twitter May 19, 2022.

Study, this It is currently 23.3 billion kilometers away from us and has not stopped sending us scientific data Planet. Voyager 1 continues to execute commands we send. The problem is about a subsystem AACS (For ” Attitude expression and control system “). AACS is used to control the orientation and altitude maneuvers of Voyager 1. It is AACS that holds Voyager 1’s antenna in the direction of the earth, which is essential for data transfer.

NASA is looking for a problem with the Voyager 1 spacecraft

All indications are that AACS is still working, but the telemetry data it provides is incorrect », To explain NASA. At present, the situation is not conducive to triggering a failed security system in the investigation. This will have the effect of putting Voyager 1 in “Safe Mode”, with only the most essential actions being performed consistently.

Voyager spacecraft, description. // Source: NASA / JBL-Caltech (carved image)

In addition, NASA states, The signal of Voyager 1 is also not weak, suggesting that the high gain antenna is in its recommended orientation with the earth. “. The team responsible for the investigation should constantly monitor the signal received to better understand the nature of the problem – determine whether the problem came directly from AACS or another organization. The source of the problem cannot be identified and the team must adapt to the situation.

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All this takes time because Voyager 1 is so far away from Earth that it takes about 2 days to send a message and receive a reply. NASA is not too surprised by the current problem: it should be noted that the equipment is almost 45 years old, longer than expected (primary mission completed in 1989). Interstellar medium is a specific context in which it is no longer dependent The sunOurs StarTherefore may have unintended consequences in studies.

Further

Artist's impression of Voyager 1.  // Source: NASA / JPL-Caltech

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