NASA reconnects with Voyager 1 (after months of confusion)


NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is talking nonsense. Its friends on Earth are worriedNASA says it is once again able to get meaningful information back from the Voyager 1 probe, after months of troubleshooting a glitch that had this venerable spacecraft sending home messages that made no sense.

The Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes launched in 1977 on a mission to study Jupiter and Saturn but continued onward through the outer reaches of the solar system. In 2012, Voyager 1 became the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space, the previously unexplored region between the stars. (Its twin, traveling in a different direction, followed suit six years later.)

Voyager 1 had been faithfully sending back readings about this mysterious new environment for years — until November, when its messages suddenly became incoherent.

It was a serious problem that had longtime Voyager scientists worried that this historic space mission wouldn’t be able to recover. They’d hoped to be able to get precious readings from the spacecraft for at least a few more years, until its power ran out and its very last science instrument quit working. —NPR

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