NASA is receiving strange messages from interstellar space.


NASA engineers scratch their heads with funky data sent by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from interstellar space.

Readings of 1970s-era space probes now do not appear to be randomly generated or reflect possible scenarios in which the spacecraft could be, a NASA Jet Propulsion Lab official said this week.

The data in question comes from the so-called “posture articulation and control system” or AACS, an onboard device that measures, reports and changes the position of a vehicle in space. This system directs the antenna towards the Earth, allowing data to be sent home.

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A new bizarre situation is questioned The future for long-term missions. Given that Voyager 1 continues to return data from scientific instruments, all signs suggest that the data doesn’t make sense but the controls are still working, the U.S. Space Agency said. Otherwise it seems to work fine.

“Mysteries like this are similar to the course at this stage of the Voyager mission,” said Susan Dodd, Voyager 1 and 2 project manager. NASA statement released Wednesday.

“Mystery like this is on the same level as going on in this phase of the Voyager mission.”

Voyager 1 and 2 are both close to 45 years old. beyond the original life expectancy. She said the surprise would happen because interstellar space is a high-radiation environment where no spacecraft has ever flown before.

Voyager 1 is 14.5 billion miles from Earth. That is, it takes light 20 hours and 33 minutes to travel that distance. This means that there is a lag of about two days between receiving a message from Voyager and receiving a response.

“The engineering team has some big challenges,” Dodd said. “But if there is a way to solve this problem, [telemetry]Our team will find it.”

Voyager 1 has been exploring the solar system with Voyager 2 since 1977.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have been exploring the solar system since 1977. It was originally intended to study the rings of Jupiter and Saturn and the moons and Saturn. For two planetary missions, they are built to last only five years.

The initial success has doubled the mission’s objectives to include two additional giant planets, Uranus and Neptune. Between the two, the spacecraft explored four planets, 48 ​​moons, and numerous planetary magnetic fields and rings.

Spacecraft generate about 4 watts less power per year, limiting the number of systems they can operate. The mission team turned off the gear to reserve power. There are no scientific instruments turned off yet. According to NASA, the goal is to keep Voyager running beyond 2025.

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