After a mistake caused weeks of silence, NASA reestablishes contact with the Voyager 2 spacecraft.

After a mistake that had caused weeks of quiet was fixed by flight controllers, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft is back in communication.
After being silent for weeks, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft started talking again on Friday after a mistake was fixed by the flight controllers.

Voyager 2 abruptly stopped communicating two weeks ago as it hurled billions of kilometers deeper into interstellar space. The 46-year-old spacecraft’s antenna was angled away from Earth after controllers gave it the incorrect command. The massive radio dish antenna in Australia received a new instruction from NASA’s Deep Space Network on Wednesday utilizing the highest powered transmitter in the hopes of repointing the antenna. The antenna of Voyager 2 just needed to be rotated by 2 degrees.

More than 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) distant, Voyager 2 took more than 18 hours to receive the command, and another 18 hours to respond.

The long shot succeeded. The spacecraft began sending data back on Friday, according to representatives of the California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“I just sighed a little bit. Project manager Suzanne Dodd told The Associated Press, “I melted in the chair.

Project scientist Linda Spilker added, “Voyager’s back.

Since its launch in 1977, Voyager 2 has been speeding through space in an effort to study the outer solar system. Its twin, Voyager 1, which was launched two weeks later, is currently the most distant spacecraft, 15 billion miles (24 billion kilometers) away and still in communication.

According to Dodd, the two-week period was thought to be the longest NASA had ever gone without communicating with Voyager 2.

According to Dodd, the Voyagers may still be around for the 50th anniversary of their launch in 2027 if their plutonium power maintains. They have recently returned information on the interstellar magnetic field and the amount of cosmic rays, among other scientific nuggets.

“Over the last ten years, we’ve been very clever to eke out every single little watt,” Dodd remarked. “I hope one of them lives to be 50. However, they are elderly, and recent occurrences like this one terrify the living daylights out of me in terms of reaching that kind of milestone.

The Science and Educational Media Group of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute supports the Associated Press’s health and science coverage.

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