Voyager 2 Stops Making Sense

Voyager 2 is nearly a billion miles away from the Earth right now, so repairs are a little out of our reach. Let’s hope the folks at JPL can fix these communications problems. Ars Technica reports:

Voyager 2, which has been traveling through the solar system since the late ’70s, has suffered a data formatting glitch that is preventing NASA from interpreting the content of its scientific data transmissions.

Control and diagnostic transmissions are unaffected, which should enable the engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to troubleshoot the problem, provided they’re patient — it currently takes nearly 13 hours for transmissions from Earth to catch up with the probe.

According to a statement released by the JPL, the problem first became apparent on April 22nd. Data from the scientific transmission, which currently reports on the conditions at the very edge of the solar system, began coming through with improper formatting, making it impossible to interpret the contents. Engineering data is still intelligible, so the JPL staff is expecting that it will be possible to figure out what’s going wrong and introduce a fix. Serious attempts at repair were delayed by a planned roll maneuver, and only started on Friday. With a round-trip time of over a day, however, progress will undoubtedly be slow.

[Read more at Ars Technica]

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  • http://nsaunders.wordpress.com neilfws

    It’s much further than “nearly a billion miles”. As of April 2, distance from earth was 8,456,000,000 miles – see http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/weekly-reports/index.htm.

  • http://nsaunders.wordpress.com neilfws

    It’s much further than “nearly a billion miles”. As of April 2, distance from earth was 8,456,000,000 miles – see http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/weekly-reports/index.htm.

  • JP

    I hope they get this issue fixed. It would suck to lose Voyager 2 this close to leaving the solar system, but do we even know what it is experiencing out there in in the heliopause. Here are few ideas that instantly came to mind.

    1-The probe has encountered an alien entity and has been reconfigured to transmit communications to Earth.
    2-The probe has encountered unknown radiation/energy fields/what-have-you and has gained intelligence and is evolving.
    3-The probe is failing because there is no way to leave the the solar system – due to pick-your-favorite religious/dogmatic/occult-NWO-space Nazi reasoning.
    4-The probe recently upgraded to Vista.
    5-JPL has been busy looking at porn sites and a virus has made it's way into the system.

    Personally I'm more apt to believe the more Hoagland-esque ideas, cause quite frankly, they are the most fun. Plus with a date of April 22, it fits closely to basically every conspiracy time signifier imaginable.

    • chinagreenelvis

      hahaha

    • Spooky

      Personally I'd rather blame Vista.

  • Anonymous

    It’s lasted surprisingly well for something built over 30 years ago, it’ll be a shame to lose it, but if ithere’s a fault in the memory maybe it’lll be just a case of rebooting it with a bit of jiggery pokery. JP might be right though with the Vista theory maybe terrestrial computers have out evolved the Computer Command System (CCS) – 18-bit word, interrupt type processors (2) with 4096 words each of plated wire, non-volatile memory.
    Flight Data System (FDS) – 16-bit word machine (2) with modular memories and 8198 words each Attitude and Articulation Control System (AACS) – 18-bit word machines (2) with 4096 words each. It’s probably like Niels Bohr trying to have a conversation with a Bonobo chimpanzee on the intricacies of quantam mechanics!
    Could we still build one with digital processors and nano technology, or even better use one of those evolutionary circuits from Japan and Mitchigan tech, that would be awesome.

  • mcgibbo

    It's lasted surprisingly well for something built over 30 years ago, it'll be a shame to lose it, but if ithere's a fault in the memory maybe it'lll be just a case of rebooting it with a bit of jiggery pokery. JP might be right though with the Vista theory maybe terrestrial computers have out evolved the Computer Command System (CCS) – 18-bit word, interrupt type processors (2) with 4096 words each of plated wire, non-volatile memory.
    Flight Data System (FDS) – 16-bit word machine (2) with modular memories and 8198 words each Attitude and Articulation Control System (AACS) – 18-bit word machines (2) with 4096 words each. It's probably like Niels Bohr trying to have a conversation with a Bonobo chimpanzee on the intricacies of quantam mechanics!
    Could we still build one with digital processors and nano technology, or even better use one of those evolutionary circuits from Japan and Mitchigan tech, that would be awesome.

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