Creating a machine that can fix itself is a massive accomplishment for humanity, but fixing something that you do not have in front of you can be an incredibly challenging issue. Voyager 2 was in that situation, but NASA fixed it, and the probe sent home crucial data.
That happens when the NASA engineers have to solve something that goes wrong with a rover, satellite, or space probe — they have to find out the problem and program the high-tech machines on what to do to fix themselves. It is, however, a complicated process, but NASA has gotten rather good at it throughout the years.
About NASA’s Voyager 2
The most recent instance when the space agency used those incredible abilities came last week when the already-old Voyager 2 probe started acting a bit peculiar. The space probe couldn’t complete a maneuver as programmed, and the flaw caused the spacecraft’s fault detection software, warning NASA that something has gone wrong.
Voyager 2 was launched in 1977, and it is incredibly far from Earth, which means that commands given by NASA take a while to get to the spacecraft. As the detection software shut down the satellite’s science tools, NASA engineers had to figure out what went wrong with it.
In an earlier update, NASA noted that it successfully disabled one of the systems that were having issues and even got to reboot some of the science tools that had been disabled. IT was not yet collecting data, but in its latest update, it appears that the situation has changed.
Voyager 2 is back online
“Mission operators report that Voyager 2 continues to be stable and that communications between Earth and the spacecraft are good,” NASA explained in a new update published on February 5th. “The spacecraft has resumed taking science data, and the science teams are now evaluating the health of the instruments following their brief shutoff.”
That’s definitely good news, but it is also a memo of how exceptional the technology of Voyager 2 is – a vehicle that was constructed back in the 1970s. It is still going great, collecting precious data as it travels around and beyond the Solar System.
“Good vibes! Voyager 2 continues to be stable, and communications between Earth and the spacecraft are fine. My twin is back to taking science data, and the team at @NASAJPL is evaluating the health of the instruments following their brief shutoff,” said NASA, as cited by WebbyFeed.