Wednesday, 6 Jul 2022

NASA baffled as Voyager starts sending back ‘impossible data’ from edge space

Scientists at NASA are baffled by mystery activity taking place on the Voyager 1 spacecraft.

The craft is currently the most distant man-made object in existence, operating on the very edge of our solar system.

It launched 44 years ago, and was thought to have fulfilled its use a few years ago.

But now, NASA has been receiving and carrying out commands from Earth once again, without issue, but that the results of the actions it takes do not tally with what is actually taking place on the ship.

Suzanne Dodd, project manager for Voyager 1 and 2 at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California explained: “A mystery like this is sort of par for the course at this stage of the Voyager mission.

“The spacecraft are both almost 45 years old, which is far beyond what the mission planners anticipated.

“We’re also in interstellar space – a high-radiation environment that no spacecraft have flown in before.

“So there are some big challenges for the engineering team.

“But I think if there’s a way to solve this issue with the AACS, our team will find it.”

The AACS is the craft's Attitude Articulation and Control System, which is pointing directly at Earth.

Although NASA believes that there is no issue with it, the “telemetry data” appears to be as if it was being randomly generated.

As well as those issues, NASA says it may finally be able to reveal whether Mars is home to alien life as they launch a new mission sending a rover onto the Red Planet.

The Space Agency’s Perseverance rover is set to collect rocks and place them in the base of a crater so they can eventually be retrieved on future trips.

Scientists reckon the Jezero crater could have held a river delta with water that may have sustained ancient microbial life.

Research said water could have flowed on the planet 3.7 billion years ago and even found evidence of an ancient Martian lake.

The boffins also found large boulders and finely-grained clay that could hold evidence of life forms visiting the planet.

Perseverance is set to visit a part of Mars known as Devils Tanyard to find sampling sites, before moving onto Rocky Top and collecting rocks that will eventually be returned to Earth.

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