How NASA scientists save Voyager 1, the farthest artificial object from Earth? - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

How NASA scientists save Voyager 1, the farthest artificial object from Earth?

Apr 23, 2024 11:05 PM IST

Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, are the only spacecraft to venture into interstellar space, the area between stars

After a five-month silence, the Voyager 1 spacecraft, the farthest manmade object, is finally sending back useful information about its health and systems, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said on Monday. Now, the team is getting it ready to send back science data, too.

Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1977.(Artistic expression/ NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1977.(Artistic expression/ NASA/JPL-Caltech)

What was the problem with Voyager 1?

The problem started last November when Voyager 1 stopped sending readable science and engineering data, even though it seemed to work fine. NASA's team at Jet Propulsion Laboratory found out it was because of a faulty chip in one of the spacecraft's computers.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

ALSO READ- NASA’s Landsat 9 satellite captures before and after pics of Dubai floods from space

How was Voyager 1 fixed?

The NASA team couldn't fix it; they had to split and move the affected code to different parts of the computer. They've moved the part that handles engineering data and hoped it would work.

A radio signal takes about 22 ½ hours to travel to Voyager 1, which is more than 24 billion kilometers away from Earth. Then, it takes another 22 ½ hours to travel back.

ALSO READ- Indian students bag NASA awards for Human Exploration Rover Challenge

When the mission flight team received a response from the spacecraft on April 20, they confirmed that the modification had been successful. This marked the first time in five months that they could monitor the health and status of the spacecraft.

Now, they're working on moving and fixing the rest of the code.

ALSO READ- 10 stunning images of galaxies captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope

Voyager 2, on the other hand, is still working as usual.

Where are Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 now?

Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1977 and Voyager 2 was launched on August 20, 1977. Voyager 1 is approximately 24.3 billion kilometres from Earth, while Voyager 2 is about 20.4 billion kilometres away. According to NASA, both have reached "Interstellar space", and each continues their unique journey through the Universe.

Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, are the only spacecraft to venture into interstellar space, the area between stars, and the farthest and longest-running ones ever. Before entering interstellar space, they explored Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crick-it, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Quizzes, Polls & much moreExplore now!.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Follow the latest breaking news and developments from India and around the world with Hindustan Times' newsdesk. From politics and policies to the economy and the environment, from local issues to national events and global affairs, we've got you covered.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 30, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On