NASA uncovers the secret of the strange data transmission from Voyager 1

As NASA grapples with the Artemis 1 program, the agency has also uncovered another mystery. Indeed, his Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched 45 years ago, is transmitting very cryptic data.

Why ? Here is the explanation. NASA engineers have discovered a bug that caused a four-decade-old spacecraft’s critical instruments to send ‘corrupted’ health information to mission controllers on Earth.

The Voyager 1 Attitude Control System (AACS), which keeps the antenna pointed at Earth, began returning information earlier this year that did not reflect what was actually happening on board. The AACS system functioned normally, but the data it returned was invalidated because it did not correspond to any possible state of the system.

The mystery is not completely solved

Otherwise, the rest of the probe appeared to be in good health as it continued to collect and send scientific data.

But the agency said it found the source of the skewed information: a zombie computer that was not supposed to be used to transmit the telemetry data. “AACS began sending telemetry data through the onboard computer, which, as you know, stopped working several years ago, and the computer distorted the information,” NASA said in a press release.

Although NASA engineers have fixed the problem, they still don’t know why AACS started routing information through the broken computer. However, they suggest that the AACS probably received an erroneous command from another on-board computer.

“We are happy to restore telemetry”

NASA notes that if that other onboard computer generates an invalid command, the problem could be elsewhere in the spacecraft. Research is ongoing to determine the nature of the underlying problem, but engineers believe this will not have a major impact on its future.

“We are excited that telemetry is back,” Voyager Project Manager Suzanne Dodd said. “We’re going to do a full AACS memory read and look at everything he did. This will help us try to diagnose the issue that caused the telemetry problem in the first place. Therefore, we take the initiative. cautious optimism, but we still have some research to do.”

Voyager 1 launched from Cape Canaveral in September 1977 and is currently the furthest spacecraft from Earth, traveling about 14.5 billion miles (23.3 billion kilometers) in space. The light will take about 20 hours to travel from the spacecraft.

Voyager 1 was the first man-made object to enter interstellar space, and in 1998 it overtook NASA’s Pioneer 10 to become the most distant man-made object. It reached interstellar space in August 2012 and performs, among other things, measurements of the density of matter in interstellar space. It will eventually leave the solar system, but not for long.

Source: “.com”

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