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Voyager data puzzles: Find 45-year-old manuals


Since May, Voyager 1 has been sending out data that has baffled engineers. Is it wrong geometry or an unknown effect in interstellar space? The 45-year-old’s brochures can also help clarify this question. But they must be found first.

The solution might be in a box in a garage somewhere

The Voyager missions are possibly among the most exciting space adventures humanity has ever embarked on. Voyager 1’s journey began in the early 1970s when thousands of engineers began NASA Work on the development and construction of the probe. However, more than four decades later, what is now the furthest man-made thing faces a problem that perhaps can only be properly understood by looking into the past.
Voyager 1 poses puzzles, and the solution is not easy to find

as such interested in trade He writes, NASA engineers have been searching for an explanation for ambiguous data, which Voyager 1 has been broadcasting for several weeks, has been incorporated more and more into the technical documentation related to the investigation. The problem: During the mission’s early years, NASA failed to set strict rules for archiving such documents.

And so some of the scientists and engineers involved at the time, or their descendants, are sitting on a treasure trove that could be very useful now: “When they retired in the 1970s and 1980s, there wasn’t a lot of it,” said Susan Dodd, Voyager mission manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. of pressure to create a library of project documentation. People took their boxes home to their garage.”

It all takes a long time

In search of the problem, NASA quickly identified the suspect: the Attitude Control System. According to Dodd, the first thing to do now is find out who worked on this system in the first place 45 years ago. Then their location should be determined and, if available, the material should be acquainted with experts. Or in other words: Team Voyager will now have to choose from a large number of old chests. “It’s a time-consuming process,” Dodd says.

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Until then, possible explanations remain a matter of guesswork. Of course, as Dodd describes, a defective component may cause an error. “Not everything works forever, even in space,” she said. The hitherto unknown effect of high-energy charged particles in interstellar space can also be visualized. “We can’t identify this as the cause of the anomaly, but it could be a factor.” The answer may lie in a dusty box in a garage.

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Space, NASA, Probe, Voyager 1
Space, NASA, Probe, Voyager 1
NASA