NASA calls Voyager 1 problem a mystery

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NASA has a problem with one of its space probes. The spacecraft appears to be working properly, but is sending data that the space organization doesn’t understand at all.

NASA calls it a mystery. The explorer, launched in 1977, seems to work normally. The probe receives commands and executes them. The collection and transmission of scientific data also runs smoothly. But something is wrong with the data the spacecraft sends to Earth.

The space agency believes the malfunction is in the so-called AACS system. This system controls the orientation of the spacecraft. Among other things, it ensures that Voyager 1’s antenna is always pointed towards the earth. This is necessary to be able to send data to Earth.

According to NASA, everything indicates that the system is still working. However, the data sent to Earth is incorrect. The mission team seems to receive only randomly generated data.

Normally, the spacecraft should go into safe mode following such a failure. In this state, the explorer only performs essential operations, giving engineers time to diagnose the problem. However, that has not happened now.

NASA will be watching Voyager 1 closely for the foreseeable future. The space agency hopes to be able to quickly determine if the invalid data that the probe sends to Earth really comes from the AACS. A software update may then fix the problem.

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