Technology

NASA solves mysterious bug on Voyager 1 space probe –

After 45 years of travel, the Voyager 1 probe is leaving our solar system. It became the furthest spacecraft from Earth. But it is affected by technical issues related to distance and age. Good news: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory just announced that it has fixed a bug affecting data transmission.

The US space agency revealed the existence of this problem last May, admitting that its origin remains a mystery. Voyager 1’s Attitude and Articulation Control System (AACS) returned inconsistent telemetry data. The AACS is responsible for positioning the spacecraft and ensuring that its antenna is pointed in the correct direction to communicate with Earth. However, the probe seemed to function normally.

Obviously, it is difficult to diagnose and solve the problem at a distance where Voyager 1 is located. But the team finally found a solution: “AACS started sending telemetry data through a computer board that, as you know, stopped working many years ago, and the computer messed up the information,” JPL explained. The solution was to ask AACS to switch to another computer to send the data.

Engineers do not know why this bug appeared

While the solution seems simple, the problem hints at the possibility of a deeper failure. Engineers don’t know why this error occurred, but it could be another computer sending the wrong command. Suzanne Dodd, head of the Voyager project, said the team is cautiously optimistic and will continue to analyze the problem.

Voyager and its twin sister Voyager 2 were launched in 1977. Both of them are outside our solar system. The Voyager Twitter account, which speaks in the first person on behalf of the probe, tweeted: “The team declared me healthy, which is great as there is more interstellar exploration ahead of me! “.

CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance

Image: NASA

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