NASA’s Voyager Spacecraft Reaches a Turning Point

Launched in 1977, probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are the only working human-made spacecraft currently in interstellar space. Throughout the decades, the twin probes have collected valuable information, from detailed views of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune to insight on how the Sun influences the space between stars. On board each of the vessels are the Golden Records, which contain greetings, music, images and maps that aim to explain human society to extraterrestrials should they come in contact. Recently though, Voyager 1 has begun to communicate differently: “when NASA sends a command for Voyager 1 to point in a certain direction, the probe isn’t able to tell them it understood and is executing on the order, even though it follows the direction.” As Suzanne Dodd, Voyager’s project manager, tells Axios, “Its talking ability is garbled, but its actions are fine.” NASA has also been slowly shutting down non-essential instruments on the probes in order to save power on the aging spacecraft. Next month, the Voyager team will be meeting to discuss the vessel’s future, which they hope could last into the 2030s. Read more at Axios.

Image courtesy of Sarah Grillo/Axios