Voyager 1 Talks Some Nonsense, But Is Still Working


The Voyager 1 interplanetary probe was released in 1977 and has now achieved interstellar space where by it is the furthest-traveled guy-created item. It’s hugely exceeded its primary mission and carries on to return beneficial scientific information, but there is an clear fault which is leaving its controllers perplexed. Onboard is an mindset manage procedure which keeps the craft’s antennas pointing at Earth, and though it evidently nevertheless is effective (as we’re nevertheless in contact with the probe) and other methods are good, it’s started out returning incomprehensible facts. Seemingly it is designed a behavior of reporting random data, or states the antenna can not potentially be in.

That a 45 calendar year previous computer is continue to working at all is testomony to the expertise of its designers, and at 14.5 billion miles away a mend is not possible on the other hand substantially we’d be fascinated to know about the failure modes of old electronics in house.  It is postulated that they could basically reside with the fault if the technique is even now operating, concern a program resolve, or come across some way to use 1 of the craft’s redundant units to steer clear of the issue. Meanwhile we can rest very easily in our beds, because we’re even now a pair of hundreds of years away from its return as a big alien sentient machine.

We have featured the Voyager application a several times prior to here at Hackaday, not least when we took a shut appear at 1 of its devices.

Thanks [Jon Woodcock] for the tip.


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Ellen C. McGowan

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