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Voyager 1 reestablishes communication after silence for five-months
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Voyager 1 reestablishes communication after silence for five-months
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Apr 23, 2024

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, after a five-month hiatus, has resumed sending back engineering data, marking a critical milestone for the most distant human-made object in the universe.

Since November, NASA had not received usable engineering data from Voyager 1 due to a malfunction in one of its three onboard computers, specifically the flight data subsystem (FDS). The FDS is crucial for packaging both science and engineering data for transmission to Earth. The issue was traced back to a malfunctioning chip within the FDS, leading to a loss of essential software code which rendered the data sent back to Earth unreadable.

The mission team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) developed a solution to bypass the damaged chip by reallocating the affected code across other areas of the FDS memory. This complex process involved dividing the code into multiple sections and ensuring these segments could operate seamlessly together, despite being stored separately.

On April 18, the team implemented the first phase of this solution by relocating the code responsible for packaging the spacecraft's engineering data. The operation's success was confirmed two days later, on April 20, when Voyager 1, now more than 15 billion miles from Earth, sent back positive signals indicating the adjustment was effective.

The JPL team plans to continue with similar adjustments for the remaining code segments, aiming to restore the flow of scientific data from Voyager 1. Meanwhile, Voyager 2, the twin spacecraft, continues to function normally, sending data back from its position in interstellar space.

Launched over 46 years ago, the Voyager spacecraft have provided invaluable data on the outer planets and now offer rare insights from beyond the solar system.

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Voyager 1 resumes sending readable status updates after 5 months of repairs
Washington DC (UPI) Apr 22, 2024
The pioneering Voyager 1 deep-space probe is once again sending usable engineering updates back to Earth after five months of repairs, NASA officials announced Monday. Voyager 1, which along with its twin, Voyager 2, are the only spacecraft to ever fly in interstellar space, has not been able to send readable data about its health or scientific mission since Nov. 14. But following lengthy and sophisticated attempts to establish a technological work-around, NASA revealed Monday its engine ... read more

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