November 30, 2022

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Voyager 1 Talks Some Nonsense, But Is Still Working

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The Voyager 1 interplanetary probe was launched in 1977 and has now reached interstellar room exactly where it is the furthest-traveled guy-produced item. It’s vastly exceeded its authentic mission and carries on to return useful scientific information, but there’s an evident fault which is leaving its controllers perplexed. Onboard is an mindset command system which retains the craft’s antennas pointing at Earth, and while it evidently continue to functions (as we’re even now in contact with the probe) and other techniques are fantastic, it’s began returning incomprehensible details. Apparently it is produced a practice of reporting random information, or states the antenna can not possibly be in.

That a 45 year previous computer is however functioning at all is testament to the expertise of its designers, and at 14.5 billion miles absent a repair service is unachievable having said that significantly we’d be fascinated to know about the failure modes of outdated electronics in house.  It is postulated that they might only are living with the fault if the method is nevertheless working, situation a software package repair, or locate some way to use one of the craft’s redundant devices to avoid the trouble. Meanwhile we can rest quickly in our beds, due to the fact we’re even now a couple of generations absent from its return as a huge alien sentient machine.

We have showcased the Voyager software a handful of moments just before listed here at Hackaday, not minimum when we took a shut search at just one of its instruments.

Thanks [Jon Woodcock] for the tip.

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