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6/16/2024 7:45:39 AM
Voyager 1 resumes sending science data from all four instruments
Voyager 1,Nasa,Science data,Plasma waves,Magnetic fields,Particles.
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Voyager 1 resumes sending science data from all four instruments


Sunday, June 16, 2024

Richard Harris Richard Harris

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has resumed gathering data from interstellar space after resolving a technical issue from November 2023. This effort restores its ability to collect crucial information about plasma waves, magnetic fields, and particles.

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is once again conducting normal science operations after addressing a technical issue from November 2023. The team partially resolved the problem in April by initiating the return of engineering data, including health and status updates of the spacecraft. On May 19, the mission team sent a command to start returning science data. Two of the four science instruments resumed normal operations immediately, while the other two required additional work. Now, all four instruments are providing usable science data.

Voyager 1 resumes science data transmission from all four instruments

The instruments study plasma waves, magnetic fields, and particles. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are the only spacecraft that have directly sampled interstellar space, which lies outside the heliosphere, the protective bubble of magnetic fields and solar wind created by the Sun.

While Voyager 1 has resumed its science operations, some minor tasks remain to clean up the effects of the issue. Engineers will resynchronize the timekeeping software in the spacecraft’s three onboard computers to ensure commands execute correctly. They will also maintain the digital tape recorder, which records data for the plasma wave instrument and sends it to Earth twice a year. Most of the science data from the Voyagers is sent directly to Earth without being recorded.

Voyager 1 is over 15 billion miles (24 billion kilometers) from Earth, and Voyager 2 is more than 12 billion miles (20 billion kilometers) away. These probes, which will mark 47 years of operation this year, are NASA’s longest-running and most distant spacecraft. Both have flown past Jupiter and Saturn, with Voyager 2 also having flown past Uranus and Neptune.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech





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