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Issue With Voyager 1 Computer [updated - Resumed Sending Science Data]


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Engineers Working to Resolve Issue With Voyager 1 Computer

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Engineers are working to resolve an issue with one of Voyager 1’s three onboard computers, called the flight data system (FDS). The spacecraft is receiving and executing commands sent from Earth; however, the FDS is not communicating properly with one of the probe’s subsystems, called the telemetry modulation unit (TMU). As a result, no science or engineering data is being sent back to Earth.

Among other things, the FDS is designed to collect data from the science instruments as well as engineering data about the health and status of the spacecraft. It then combines that information into a single data “package” to be sent back to Earth by the TMU. The data is in the form of ones and zeros, or binary code. Varying combinations of the two numbers are the basis of all computer language.

Read More: ➡️ NASA

 

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  • The title was changed to Engineers Working to Resolve Issue With Voyager 1 Computer [updated]
 

 

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  • The title was changed to Engineers Working to Resolve Issue With Voyager 1 Computer [updated - progress made]

NASA Engineers Make Progress Toward Understanding Voyager 1 Issue

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Since November 2023, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft has been sending a steady radio signal to Earth, but the signal does not contain usable data. The source of the issue appears to be with one of three onboard computers, the flight data subsystem (FDS), which is responsible for packaging the science and engineering data before it’s sent to Earth by the telemetry modulation unit.

On March 3, the Voyager mission team saw activity from one section of the FDS that differed from the rest of the computer’s unreadable data stream. The new signal was still not in the format used by Voyager 1 when the FDS is working properly, so the team wasn’t initially sure what to make of it. But an engineer with the agency’s Deep Space Network, which operates the radio antennas that communicate with both Voyagers and other spacecraft traveling to the Moon and beyond, was able to decode the new signal and found that it contains a readout of the entire FDS memory.

Read More: ➡️ NASA

 

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  • The title was changed to Engineers Working to Resolve Issue With Voyager 1 Computer [updated - cause pinpointed]

Engineers Pinpoint Cause of Voyager 1 Issue, Are Working on Solution

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Engineers have confirmed that a small portion of corrupted memory in one of the computers aboard NASA’s Voyager 1 has been causing the spacecraft to send unreadable science and engineering data to Earth since last November. Called the flight data subsystem (FDS), the computer is responsible for packaging the probe’s science and engineering data before the telemetry modulation unit (TMU) and radio transmitter send the data to Earth.

In early March, the team issued a “poke” command to prompt the spacecraft to send back a readout of the FDS memory, which includes the computer’s software code as well as variables (values used in the code that can change based on commands or the spacecraft’s status). Using the readout, the team has confirmed that about 3% of the FDS memory has been corrupted, preventing the computer from carrying out normal operations.

Read More: ➡️ NASA

 

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  • The title was changed to Issue With Voyager 1 Computer [updated - Resumed Sending Engineering Updates to Earth]

NASA’s Voyager 1 Resumes Sending Engineering Updates to Earth

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image.thumb.jpeg.6bb13a61cbf672569e90fe8366fa7a7b.jpeg

NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft is depicted in this artist’s concept traveling through interstellar space, or the space between stars, which it entered in 2012.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

After some inventive sleuthing, the mission team can — for the first time in five months — check the health and status of the most distant human-made object in existence.

For the first time since November, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft is returning usable data about the health and status of its onboard engineering systems. The next step is to enable the spacecraft to begin returning science data again. The probe and its twin, Voyager 2, are the only spacecraft to ever fly in interstellar space (the space between stars).

Read More: ➡️ NASA/JPL

 

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  • The title was changed to Issue With Voyager 1 Computer [updated - Resumed Sending Science Data]

Voyager 1 Resumes Sending Science Data from Two Instruments

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Voyager 1 has resumed returning science data from two of its four instruments for the first time since a computer issue arose with the spacecraft in November 2023. The mission’s science instrument teams are now determining steps to recalibrate the remaining two instruments, which will likely occur in the coming weeks. The achievement marks significant progress toward restoring the spacecraft to normal operations.

In April, after five months of troubleshooting since the original computer issue, the mission was able to get the spacecraft to begin returning usable engineering data about the health and status of its onboard systems, including the science instruments. On May 17, the team sent commands to the 46-year-old spacecraft that enabled it to resume sending science data to Earth.

Read More: ➡️ NASA

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Voyager 1 Returning Science Data From All Four Instruments

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The spacecraft has resumed gathering information about interstellar space.

NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft is conducting normal science operations for the first time following a technical issue that arose in November 2023.

The team partially resolved the issue in April when they prompted the spacecraft to begin returning engineering data, which includes information about the health and status of the spacecraft. On May 19, the mission team executed the second step of that repair process and beamed a command to the spacecraft to begin returning science data. Two of the four science instruments returned to their normal operating modes immediately. Two other instruments required some additional work, but now, all four are returning usable science data.

Read More: ➡️ NASA

 

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Astounding. Incredible how long these modern marvels have lasted. It's really impressive..

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