NASA has succeeded in re-establishing full contact with Voyager 2 by utilizing its highest-power transmitter to ship an “interstellar shout” that righted the distant probe’s antenna orientation, the area company mentioned Friday.
Launched in 1977 to discover the outer planets and function a beacon of humanity to the broader universe, it’s presently greater than 12.3 billion miles (19.9 billion kilometers) from our planet—nicely past the photo voltaic system.
A collection of deliberate instructions despatched to the spaceship on July 21 mistakenly induced the antenna to level two levels away from Earth, compromising its means to ship and obtain alerts and endangering its mission.
The state of affairs was not anticipated to be resolved till a minimum of October 15 when Voyager 2 was scheduled to hold out an automatic realignment maneuver.
However on Tuesday, engineers enlisted the assistance of a number of Earth observatories that type the Deep House Community (DSN) to detect a service or “heartbeat” wave from Voyager 2, although the sign was nonetheless too faint to learn the information it carried.
In a brand new replace on Friday, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which constructed and operates the probe, mentioned it had succeeded in a longshot effort to ship directions that righted the craft.
“The Deep House Community used the highest-power transmitter to ship the command (the 100-kw S-band uplink from the Canberra website) and timed it to be despatched throughout the most effective situations in the course of the antenna monitoring move to be able to maximize attainable receipt of the command by the spacecraft,” Voyager challenge supervisor Suzanne Dodd informed AFP.
This so-called “interstellar shout” required 18.5 hours touring at gentle pace to succeed in Voyager, and it took 37 hours for mission controllers to study whether or not the command labored, JPL mentioned in a press release.
The probe started returning science and telemetry knowledge at 12:29 am Jap Time on August 4, “indicating it’s working usually and that it stays on its anticipated trajectory,” added JPL.
Voyager 2 left the protecting magnetic bubble supplied by the Solar, known as the heliosphere, in December 2018, and is presently touring by the area between the celebs.
Earlier than leaving our photo voltaic system, it explored Jupiter and Saturn, and have become the primary and thus far solely spacecraft to go to Uranus and Neptune.
Voyager 2’s twin Voyager 1 was mankind’s first spacecraft to enter the interstellar medium, in 2012, and is presently nearly 15 billion miles from Earth.
Each carry “Golden Data”—12-inch, gold-plated copper disks meant to convey the story of our world to extraterrestrials.
These embody a map of our photo voltaic system, a bit of uranium that serves as a radioactive clock permitting recipients so far the spaceship’s launch, and symbols that convey how one can play the report.
The contents of the disks, chosen for NASA by a committee chaired by legendary astronomer Carl Sagan, embody encoded pictures of life on Earth, in addition to music and sounds that may be performed utilizing an included stylus.
For now, the Voyagers proceed to transmit again scientific knowledge, although their energy banks are anticipated to be finally depleted someday after 2025.
They may then proceed to wander the Milky Means, doubtlessly for eternity, in silence.
© 2023 AFP
NASA again in contact with Voyager 2 after ‘interstellar shout’ (2023, August 4)
retrieved 5 August 2023
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