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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