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Business News/ Science / News/  Voyager-1 unable to send data from outside Solar System, says NASA

Voyager-1 unable to send data from outside Solar System, says NASA

Nasa in its update said that engineers are still working to resolve a data issue on Voyager 1 that began in December 2023.

Voyager-1 (image shared by NASA JPL) (X/@NASAJPL)Premium
Voyager-1 (image shared by NASA JPL) (X/@NASAJPL)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s spacecraft traveling outside the Solar System – the Voyager-1 – is in trouble, as it has not been able to send any science data to Earth as it continues its journey beyond the solar system.

NASA said in an update that engineers are still working to resolve a data issue on Voyager 1.

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"We can talk to the spacecraft, and it can hear us, but it's a slow process given the spacecraft's incredible distance from Earth," Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said, adding the spacecraft holds the record as the farthest man-made object ever.

According to the India Today report, the issue lies with one of Voyager 1’s three onboard computers, called the flight data system (FDS). It helps NASA receive and execute commands sent from Earth.

However, NASA said that FDS is not communicating properly with one of the probe’s subsystems, called the telemetry modulation unit (TMU). Due to this, a halt in science operations occurred and no science or engineering data is being sent back to Earth.

The FDS is designed to collect data from science instruments as well as engineering data about the health and status of the spacecraft. Following this, the FDS combines the information into a single data “package" to be sent back to Earth by the TMU, which is in the form of binary numbers of ones and zeros.

As per NASA, the issue occurred in December last year and has even persisted even after the team tried to restart the FDS and return it to the state it was in before the issue began. Sadly the spacecraft still isn’t returning usable data.


Launched by NASA on 5 September 1977, to study the outer planets in the Solar System, the Voyager-1 provided unprecedented insights into Jupiter and Saturn. It was through Voyager-1 only that captured Earth from a record distance in 1990, that the iconic image, the "Pale Blue Dot' became popular.

In 2012, the Voyager-1 officially entered interstellar space and became the first human-made object to do so. It continues its journey in space providing valuable information.

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Published: 07 Feb 2024, 07:17 PM IST
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