Final Saturday, Voyager 2’s software program shut down all 5 of the scientific devices onboard as a result of the spacecraft was consuming manner an excessive amount of energy. Engineers at NASA do not know what triggered this vitality spike and are at present making an attempt to get the interstellar probe, which was launched in 1977, again to regular operations. Its main mission was purported to final 5 years. In 2018, it formally left the photo voltaic system. To be able to maintain the spacecraft working correctly 42 years later, NASA has needed to rigorously handle energy consumption for the devices and the probe’s heaters. From a report: About 11.5 billion miles away, Voyager 2 was purported to make a scheduled 360-degree rotation that will assist calibrate its magnetometer (used to measure magnetic fields). The spacecraft delayed this transfer for nonetheless unknown causes, leaving two different inside techniques working at excessive energy. The onboard software program determined to offset this energy deficit by shutting down the 5 scientific devices nonetheless working. NASA engineers shut down one of many power-hungry techniques and turned the science devices again on. However the spacecraft remains to be not cleared for regular operations and isn’t amassing any new information for now. […] It takes 17 hours for information from Earth to get to Voyager 2, and vice versa. This lag means it is going to take a number of days to unravel the spacecraft’s woes. As it’s, the radioisotope thermoelectric generator, which powers the spacecraft, is just anticipated to final one other 5 years earlier than the plutonium-238 can not present sufficient warmth to energy the probe’s devices, so Voyager 2 is on its final hurrah anyway.
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