Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Voyager 1 transmits scientific data from all four instruments

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun17,2024

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NASA's “Voyager-1” spacecraft is conducting normal science operations for the first time since a technical problem in November 2023.

The team partially solved the problem in April when they managed to get the spacecraft to start returning engineering data, including information about its health. On May 19, the mission team completed the second stage of repairs and gave the spacecraft a command to begin returning science data. Two of the four scientific instruments immediately returned to their normal operating modes. The other two instruments require more work, but all four instruments now return usable science data.

These four instruments study plasma waves, magnetic fields, and particles. “Voyager-1” and “Voyager-2” are the only spacecraft that directly explore interstellar space, which is outside the heliosphere – the protective bubble of magnetic fields and solar wind created by the Sun.

Despite the fact that Voyager 1 returned to scientific activity, it is necessary to carry out additional small works to eliminate the consequences of malfunctions. Among other tasks, engineers will resynchronize the timing software in the spacecraft's three on-board computers so they can execute commands at the right time. The team will also perform maintenance on a digital tape recorder that records some data for the plasma wave device sent to Earth twice a year. (Most Voyager science data is sent directly to Earth and not recorded.)

Voyager 1 is more than 15 billion miles (24 billion kilometers) from Earth, and Voyager 2 is more than 12 billions of miles (20 billion kilometers) from the planet. This year the probes will be 47 years old. They are NASA's longest and most distant spacecraft. Both devices flew past Jupiter and Saturn, and “Voyager-2” also flew past Uranus and Neptune.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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