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Why does the Voyager 1 probe send strange messages?

Why does the Voyager 1 probe send strange messages?

from the record, Voyager 1 . probe He hit many. Suffice it to recall that it is the longest operating probe today, its age is 45 years; It is the probe farthest from Earth, 21.337 billion km; This is my first investigation Information from outside the solar system. What are the secrets of its success? Be supported by radioisotope generator, in other words of nuclear energy. But be warned: This does not mean that Voyager 1 has a mini nuclear power plant inside.

Rather, it is a system consisting of two different metals that, at different temperatures, cause a potential difference and thus a flow of electrons (one electric current). To heat one of the two metals, a radioactive element is used, the “decomposition” of which (that is, its transformation into another chemical element) releases energy and, accordingly, heats. Today, however, the probe appears to have a rather serious problem with the control system, As explained by NASA itself.

Lots of unknowns. The control system that guides the spacecraft into space, AACS (Attitude and Articulation Control Subsystem), sends baseless data to NASA’s control center. If they were right, in fact, the investigation would not be in place. AACS allows understanding of the exact point at which the probe is located by orienting itself toward the Sun and a group of stars so far away that it can be considered “fixed” in the vault of the sky. This way, Voyager can properly position the antenna toward the ground to communicate: When the position is not accurate, small actuators (there are 24) are triggered that put the probe and instruments in the correct position.

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For 45 years, AACS has worked flawlessly thanks to the control of the HYPACE computer, which now appears to have a serious problem. It’s hard to assess what it is: being in interstellar space, the probe travels in an unknown “world” compared to the one on this side ofheliosphere, this is the “bubble” around the sun where our star enforces the law. In that environment, interstellar radiation could interfere with a computer in unprecedented ways. In addition, the delay in communications between Earth and Voyager is about 20 and a half hours (the time taken to send a question to the probe and receive a response).

End? not at all. NASA is working on a solution to the problem, which will allow the spacecraft to continue sending data to Earth until 2025, after which its fuel will be exhausted. But its history is not: it will continue to wander in space until about 30,000 years from now and it has given up Oort cloudThe big “cake” of comets that surround the solar system, and after another 8000 years, they will pass at the point closest to the star. 445 About 1.7 light years. And then it will continue again