NASA’s Voyager Has Made a Full Recovery After Glitch Nearly Ended

Voyager 1 launched in 1977, so it’s operating on vintage tech. The storied spacecraft is exploring the outermost edge of the Sun’s domain, combining its observations with data from newer missions to get a better understanding of how the heliosphere interacts with interstellar space. For decades, the spacecraft has been a reliable source of data on the universe, discovering new moons, active volcanoes, and planetary rings.

Late last year, however, the spacecraft started talking back to Earth in unusable gibberish. In March, the team behind the mission pinpointed the cause behind Voyager 1’s nonsensical data: a single chip responsible for storing part of the affected portion of the spacecraft’s flight data system (FDS) memory.FDS collects data from Voyager’s science instruments, as well as engineering data about the health of the spacecraft, and combines them into a single package that’s transmitted to Earth in binary code. When it started glitching, however, the mission began sending data in a repeating pattern of ones and zeroes.

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