After a seven-month ceasefire in which Voyager 2 could not be commanded, NASA can now deliver new directions and procedures for spacecraft, the agency announced.
Launched in August 1977, the Voyager 2 space probe Traveled more than 43 years after visiting Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
NASA team repairs and upgrades It is taking place at Deep Space Station 43 in Canberra, Australia, from mid-March. This station is the only antenna in the world that can communicate with the probe. This is due to the location of the Voyager 2 in deep space, the location of the antenna in the southern hemisphere, and the fact that the antenna can interface with the probe’s 1970s technology.
Workers were repairing 70 meters (230 feet) of plates. One of the two radio transmitters has not been upgraded in 47 years.
The Thursday night mission crew sent a test signal to Voyager 2, which is now in interstellar space. The craft was pinged again on Monday morning. Voyager 2 Checked the signal and executed the command sent by the mission controller.
“What makes this work unique is that we are working on antennas of all levels, from the ground level pedestal to the feed cone in the center of the expanding dish (which houses part of the antenna receiver). NASA jet propulsion in Pasadena, California. Said Brad Arnold, project manager of the Institute’s Deep Space Network.
“This test communication with the Voyager 2 is sure to tell us what we’re doing is going well,” he added in the press release.
The upgrade is expected to be fully completed in February 2021.
In interstellar space
The Voyager 2 became the second man-made spacecraft in 2018 after the twin Voyager 1 achieved that feat in 2012.
The mission operator was unable to give orders to Voyager 2 during the coronavirus pandemic, but continued to receive sensor data from the probe. Both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are outside the heliosphere, which is a bubble of magnetic fields and particles created by the sun.
Suzanne Dodd, director of JPL’s Interplanetary Network Directorate and project manager of the Voyager Interstellar Mission, said, “We’ve always been talking to the spacecraft. We’ve been doing that every day.” “We can see its health. We would have known if it wasn’t healthy.”
But while repairing If there was a problem with the spacecraft, NASA had no way of quickly telling them to adjust their course.
Voyager 1 and 2’s onboard systems are so old that they explained that they have 200,000 times less memory than a smartphone. This low-complexity raw technique can be of great help in the life of powerful probes over 40 years.
“That’s probably one of the reasons they lasted so long because it’s so simple,” she said. “Voyagers have a great track record. The spacecraft is amazingly resilient.”
Thanks to its resilience, mankind can continue to obtain new information about the outer edges of the solar system. And that data reminds us that beyond tribes and classes, ideologies and parties, we are all part of something infinitely grand.
Looking back at us from the perspective of Voyager 2, all our struggles are very few while waiting for the election results.
Legendary astronomer Carl Sagan wrote in his 1994 book “Pale Blue Dot” that “probably nothing is better than this distant image of our little world that shows the folly of human pride.”
“For me, it emphasizes our responsibility to treat each other more kindly and to preserve and value the pale blue dot, the only home we know to date.”