NASA calls Voyager 2, and the spacecraft answers from interstellar space – My programming school


DSS43 is a 70-meter-wide radio antenna at the Deep Space Network's Canberra facility in Australia.
Enlarge / DSS43 is a 70-meter-vast radio antenna at the Deep Space Network’s Canberra facility in Australia.

NASA

The Voyager 2 spacecraft has been gone from Earth for more than 43 years, and it now lies 125 astronomical items from our planet. That is 125 occasions the distance between the Earth and Sun.

Understandably, this distance makes it relatively troublesome for NASA to speak with its far-flung spacecraft—there is a time delay of more than 17 hours. However, with Voyager 2, there is one other complication in speaking to the spacecraft.

After flying by Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, Voyager 2 made its final planetary flyby in August 1989 previous Neptune. Scientists have been additionally in flying by Neptune’s intriguing moon Triton, so that they commanded Voyager 2 to do so on its approach past Neptune, flying over the north pole of Triton. This trajectory carried it alongside a southward path relative to the aircraft of the Solar System, and it has saved on reserving it south.

This has penalties for speaking with NASA’s Deep Space Network on Earth, which consists of three giant radio antenna amenities round the world, in California, Spain, and Australia. Typically, this geographical unfold permits for all of NASA’s spacecraft nonetheless lively to have the functionality to speak with at least certainly one of these amenities at all occasions.

But as a result of Voyager 2 has dipped to this point south of the aircraft of the Solar System, it could actually now solely talk by line of sight with the 70-meter-vast antenna in Canberra, Australia. Because this facility is about 5 a long time outdated, it wanted to undergo refurbishment and upgrade work starting in March, and it had been offline since that time. This work is anticipated to conclude in February, so NASA has been unable to ship indicators to Voyager 2 since that time.

Last week, to check new {hardware} just lately put in on the giant dish, Voyager mission managers have been in a position to ship a sequence of indicators to the spacecraft for the first time since March. Voyager 2 replied that it had, certainly, obtained the indicators and executed NASA’s instructions, the space agency says.

That’s good for NASA and science in basic, as Voyager 2 (alongside with Voyager 1) is now venturing past the Solar System, into interstellar space. Out in the nice black past, Voyager 2 will continue to return knowledge about the pace, density, temperature, and stress of charged particles in the interstellar medium.


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