Voyager 2: probe has switched off, reactivation successful

The two Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft were deployed in 1977 and have been moving at high speed since then. The Voyager 2 had to struggle with a technical problem. NASA has managed to reactivate the probe.

Voyager 2 has now left the solar system and is 18.5 billion kilometers away from us. On January 25, 2020, the spacecraft should rotate 360 ​​degrees to recalibrate its own magnetometer. However, there was a delay, so that two systems with comparatively high energy consumption were active at the same time. This apparently overloaded the power supply.

Scientific instruments disabled

For security reasons, Voyager 2 has automatically switched off all scientific instruments. This compensated for the performance deficit. It was only on January 28 that NASA technicians managed to deactivate one of the two performance-hungry systems and restart the scientific instruments. So far, however, the instruments have not yet sent any further data to Earth.

Due to the large distance to earth, the control options of Voyager 2 are severely limited. The signal runtime is currently 17 hours in each direction, so that a response only reaches the earth after 34 hours.

In addition to the transmission of images and measurement data to the earth, the two Voyager probes have the task of transporting the “Voyager Golden Record”. It is a data plate that is aimed at extraterrestrials and contains information about humanity, the planet Earth and our solar system. Images and audio messages are stored on the data carrier. The space probes should continue to fly for thousands of years, provided they do not collide with another object on their way.

See also:Voyager: The boundary of the solar system is surprisingly clear

Space, space travel, probe, space probe, reactivation, Voyager 2


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