Science NASA’s Voyager 1 is sending mysterious data from beyond our solar system. Scientists are unsure what it means.

tom_mai78101

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NASA's Voyager 1 continues its journey beyond our solar system, 45 years after it was launched. But now, the veteran spacecraft is sending back strange data, puzzling its engineers.

While it is still operating properly, NASA announced on Wednesday that readouts from the probe's attitude articulation and control system — AACS for short — don't seem to match with the spacecraft's movements and orientation, suggesting the craft is confused about its location in space. The AACS is essential for Voyager to send NASA data about its surrounding interstellar environment as it keeps the craft's antenna pointing right at our planet.


"A mystery like this is sort of par for the course at this stage of the Voyager mission," Suzanne Dodd, project manager for Voyager 1 and 2 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement. "The spacecraft are both almost 45 years old, which is far beyond what the mission planners anticipated." NASA said Voyager 1's twin, the Voyager 2 probe, is behaving normally.

Launched in 1977 to explore the outer planets in our solar system, Voyager 1 has remained operational long past expectations and continues to send information about its journeys back to Earth. The trailblazing craft left our solar system and entered interstellar space in 2012. It is now 14.5 billion miles away from Earth, making it the most distant human-made object.



 

The Helper

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This is very interesting news. I wonder what it is? Probably just a malfunction but I like to imagine it is in some kind of displacement field or a worm hole out beyond our solar system... :)
 
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