Voyager 1 Talks Some Nonsense, However Is Nonetheless Working

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The Voyager 1 interplanetary probe was launched in 1977 and has now reached interstellar house the place it’s the furthest-traveled man-made object. It’s vastly exceeded its authentic mission and continues to return worthwhile scientific information, however there’s an obvious fault which is leaving its controllers perplexed. Onboard is an perspective management system which retains the craft’s antennas pointing at Earth, and whereas it evidently nonetheless works (as we’re nonetheless in contact with the probe) and different programs are high-quality, it’s began returning incomprehensible information. Apparently it’s developed a behavior of reporting random information, or states the antenna can’t probably be in.

{That a} 45 yr outdated pc continues to be working in any respect is testomony to the abilities of its designers, and at 14.5 billion miles away a restore is unattainable nonetheless a lot we’d be fascinated to know in regards to the failure modes of outdated electronics in house.  It’s postulated that they could merely reside with the fault if the system continues to be working, problem a software program repair, or discover a way to make use of one of many craft’s redundant programs to keep away from the issue. In the meantime we are able to relaxation simply in our beds, as a result of we’re nonetheless a few centuries away from its return as an enormous alien sentient machine.

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We’ve featured the Voyager program a couple of occasions earlier than right here at Hackaday, not least after we took a detailed take a look at one among its devices.

Thanks [Jon Woodcock] for the tip.

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