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Voyager 2 Back In Contact With NASA After An “Interstellar Shout”

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According to American space agency Nasa, it has successfully made contact with its lost spacecraft Voyager 2. The contact was made earlier than anticipated.

A team of flight controllers had made a wrong command to the spacecraft in July which altered its position and broke contact with it. After much work a signal from the spacecraft was picked up with the help of a powerful instruction called ‘interstellar shout’ and as a result its antenna is now facing the Earth.

Nasa had sent Voyager 2 in 1977 to space for exploration purposes. The space agency had at first hoped for the spacecraft to reset itself in October.

Given that Voyager 2 is billions of miles away from Earth, it took mission controllers 37 hours to determine whether the interstellar command had been successful.

According to Voyager project manager Suzanne Dodd, staff utilised the “highest-power transmitter” to deliver an instruction to the spacecraft and scheduled it to be delivered at “the best conditions” so the antenna would line up with the order.

The probe had been unable to receive instructions from Earth or transmit data to the Deep Space Network, a global network of enormous radio antennas, once communication was lost. On August 4, however, the space agency declared that the spacecraft has sent data and that it was functioning normally.

The spaceship will likely continue travelling through the cosmos on its intended course, according to NASA. The space agency announced on Monday that it was using a huge dish near Canberra, the capital of Australia, to search for any stray Voyager 2 signals. The first flimsy “heartbeat” signal was audible at this time.

The antenna had been repeatedly sending the right order to Voyager 2 in an attempt to make contact, according to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA, which oversees the Voyager missions.

To keep its antenna pointed at Earth, the probe is programmed to reset its position several times a year. NASA has staked its hopes on the upcoming reset, which is scheduled for 15 October, if all prior measures would fail.

Only Voyager 2 and Voyager 1 have ever operated outside the heliosphere, the Sun’s protective bubble of charged particles and magnetic fields. In 2018 and 2012, respectively, they arrived in interstellar space.

The probes were made to examine Jupiter and Saturn by taking advantage of a rare alignment of the outer planets that happens every 176 years.

Voyager 1 is currently approximately 15 billion miles from Earth, making it the farthest distant spacecraft ever built by humanity. Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have ever flown by Neptune and Uranus. Both spacecraft will keep roving across space until they run out of fuel, which is anticipated to happen beyond 2025.

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