Strange things are happening with Voyager 1, which has been traveling for 45 years. Launched in 1977, the U.S. spacecraft crossed the heliopause in August 2012 and entered interstellar space, currently 23.3 billion kilometers away, making it the farthest man-made object. According to the latest data, the device does not currently know exactly where it is, but it does not indicate an error and has not entered safe mode.
The fault is found in the data of the subsystem AACS, which adjusts the position of the probe and always positions the radio antenna to Earth. Voyager sends meaningless information about your location, but all this does not prevent you from staying in touch, the strength of the signals coming from it is unchanged.
Until we know more about the case, we can’t predict how long the spacecraft will be able to collect and transmit data.
In a statement issued by NASA.
It is not clear whether the error is in the AACS system or is receiving bad data from a sensor. Most of Voyager’s instruments no longer work, and we can only communicate with them now because the spare nozzles responsible for adjusting their position are still 37 yearsthey do their job flawlessly even after their last operation.
NASA JPL experts don’t find the mystery particularly shocking anyway, but rather something that can be expected from a probe operating in a highly radiant environment for nearly half a century. So it’s also in the deck that if they can’t find the cause of the problem, they simply adapt to it.
The solution can’t be rushed anyway, as the signal from Voyager 1 arrives at ground control in 20 and a half hours and it takes the same amount of time to send a response.
Launched 16 days earlier, Voyager-2 is now up and running. The probes have so far exceeded their expected operating time, but their continued operation is physical borderwill be achieved in the coming years. Their on-board energy source is plutonium with a half-life of 87.7 years, the energy of which is constantly decreasing. The Voyager-1 will have about 70 percent of the plutonium at start-up on May 19, 2022, but the deck generator will no longer be able to generate enough power to operate the onboard systems sometime after 2025.