Voyager 2 space probe in 33 years of flight managed to reach very remote corners of the solar system. But on April 22, with the machine suddenly began to receive information in a strange encoding. Scientists are working hard to find the key and decrypt the data plan. The task is complicated by a great distance – information comes only after 13 hours.
Far probe Voyager 2 was launched from Earth August 20, 1977, two weeks later, his brother Voyager 1. Today, these devices are the most distant from Earth objects created by man: they are from us in the 13.8 and 16.9 billion kilometers, respectively.
Over 33 years of flight, slowly accelerating probes scored an impressive speed and located on the edge of the solar system. If all goes according to plan, five years later, these devices will make incredible – leave it outside. It has great chances: Voyager 1 is fully functional, but Voyager 2 in behavior manifested some oddities.
Working with the staff engineers were forced to put it to transmit only the current data on the status of on-board equipment – and no observational results. May take time to diagnose and understand what happened: the scientific evidence began to come from him in an unrecognizable character set. For the transfer of technical information is the responsibility of another system that continues to work normally.
Preliminary analysis by May 1, showed that the Voyager 2 as a whole in order, and the problem is localized in the system responsible for encoding the data before sending them to Earth. Failure in it and leads to the fact that on April 22, experts can not understand that sends data for scientific apparatus.
Alas, get started right away with the problem did not happen. Probe planned maneuvers performed and until April 30, a moratorium on sending him additional commands. Complicates the task and the fact that today Voyager 2 is too far from Earth to the fact that the signal has overcome the distance to it, requires 13 hours – and the same to receive a response. Leaves, each sending commands and receiving responses it requires more than a day.
However, while NASA engineers are optimistic. One of them – Ed Stone said: Initially, Voyager 2 mission was designed for a four-year mission to Saturn, but it was in ’33 – and the space probe continues to send us invaluable data. It already passed the impressive pictures of Uranus and Neptune, which until since then, no one had seen such a short distance. And we will do everything possible to probe continued his research.