Voyager 1 Resumes Science Data Transmission All Instruments Online

Voyager 1 Resumes Science Data Transmission All Instruments Online

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has resumed transmitting science data from all four of its instruments after a technical issue caused a disruption in November 2023. Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory identified the problem as a corrupted memory chip in one of the spacecraft's computers. A "tiger team" of engineers successfully reprogrammed the spacecraft's software to bypass the faulty chip, restoring communication in April 2024.

The four instruments on Voyager 1, which measure plasma waves, magnetic fields, and particles in interstellar space, are now operational again. While two instruments returned to normal functioning immediately, the other two required additional adjustments. Despite its age and the declining power levels of its plutonium-238 power supplies, the mission team is optimistic that Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, can continue their scientific operations into the next decade. Both spacecraft are the only ones to have directly sampled interstellar space, providing invaluable data from beyond the influence of the Sun.

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