Jump to content

Voyager 1 Probe Is Sending Mysterious Data From Interstellar Space


Recommended Posts

NASA's Voyager 1 is sending mysterious data from beyond our solar system. Scientists are unsure what it means. The Voyager 1 probe is still exploring interstellar space 45 years after launching, but it has encountered an issue that mystifies the spacecraft's team on Earth. 

Voyager%201%20mystery%20signals.png

Voyager 1 continues to operate well, despite its advanced age and 14.5 billion-mile distance (23.3 billion kilometers) from Earth. And it can receive and execute commands sent from NASA, as well as gather and send back science data. 

But the readouts from the attitude articulation and control system, which control the spacecraft's orientation in space, don't match up with what Voyager is actually doing. 

The attitude articulation and control system, or AACS, ensures that the probe's high-gain antenna remains pointed at Earth so Voyager can send data back to NASA. 

Due to Voyager's interstellar location, it takes light 20 hours and 33 minutes to travel one way, so the call and response of one message between NASA and Voyager takes two days.

 

View the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Topics

    • By European Space Agency
      A new collaboration between ESA and Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands has got passengers thinking about space. Digital screens throughout the airport featuring stunning  satellite images of Earth have been stopping travellers in their tracks. That's because these pictures from space are part of a fun Where on Earth? travel quiz.
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      2 min read
      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      NASA’s Flight Opportunities program sent two university payloads on suborbital flight tests onboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity on June 8 when it launched from Spaceport America in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
      The payloads carrying scientific research from University of California, Berkeley and Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, align with critical technology needs that NASA has identified in pursuit of the agency’s space commerce and exploration goals. The payload from UC Berkeley, studied a new type of 3D printing and the payload from Purdue studied how sloshing of liquid propellant affects spacecraft direction.
      The need to print building materials in space without having to transport them will be critical in the coming years as humans live and work in space for longer durations. Optimizing spacecraft and satellite design will help us increase the rate of scientific discoveries both here on our home planet and on the Moon, Mars, and beyond. 
      “Our program enables researchers to move from the lab to flight test rapidly, and in many cases, multiple flight tests across different commercial vehicles. This allows them the invaluable opportunity to learn from initial tests, implement improvements, and then fly again – or as we like to say, ‘fly, fix, fly,’” said Danielle McCulloch, program manager for Flight Opportunities at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.
      Photo credit: Virgin Galactic
      Share
      Details
      Last Updated Jun 11, 2024 EditorDede DiniusContactSarah Mannsarah.mann@nasa.gov Related Terms
      Armstrong Flight Research Center Flight Opportunities Program Space Technology Mission Directorate Explore More
      2 min read Food Safety Program for Space Has Taken Over on Earth
      System created for Apollo astronaut food has become the global standard for hazard prevention
      Article 1 day ago 5 min read NASA’s Laser Relay System Sends Pet Imagery to, from Space Station
      Article 5 days ago 1 min read The First Responder UAS Wireless Data Gatherer Challenge
      Article 5 days ago Keep Exploring Discover More Topics From NASA
      Armstrong Flight Research Center
      Space Technology Mission Directorate
      STMD Flight Opportunities
      Armstrong Space Projects
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      Aurora and airglow are seen from the International Space Station in 2015.Credits: NASA/JSC/ESRS NASA has selected three proposals for concept studies of missions to investigate the complex system of space weather that surrounds our planet and how it’s connected to Earth’s atmosphere.
      The three concepts propose how to enact the DYNAMIC (Dynamical Neutral Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling) mission, which was recommended by the 2013 Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics. The DYNAMIC mission is designed to study how changes in Earth’s lower atmosphere influence our planet’s upper atmosphere, where space weather like auroras and satellite disruptions are manifested. This knowledge will benefit humanity by helping us understand how space weather can interfere with crucial technology like navigation systems and satellites.
      “Earth and space are an interconnected system that reaches from the heart of our solar system, the Sun, to the lowest reaches of the atmosphere where we live and extends to the edge of our heliosphere – the boundary of interstellar space,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “While space weather can spark the beautiful auroras across our skies, it also has the potential to cause disruptions for us here on Earth and can be dangerous for our spacecraft and astronauts in space. The DYNAMIC mission will expand our understanding of how Earth itself shapes space weather events that influence our home planet.”
      The DYNAMIC mission is designed to make measurements within Earth’s upper atmosphere between about 50-125 miles (80-200 kilometers) in altitude. With multiple spacecraft, DYNAMIC’s simultaneous observations from different locations can give scientists a more complete picture of how waves propagate upwards through this part of the atmosphere.
      NASA’s fiscal year 2023 appropriation directed NASA to initiate this first phase of study. As the first step of a two-step selection process, each proposal will receive $2 million for a concept study. NASA solicited missions with a cost cap of $250 million, which does not include the launch. The studies will last nine months.
      The selected concept teams are:
      University of Colorado, Boulder, led by principal investigator Tomoko Matsuo Key partners include Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California; and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Haystack Observatory in Westford, Massachusetts.
      University of Colorado, Boulder, led by principal investigator Aimee Merkel Key partners include BAE Systems in Westminster, Colorado, and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington.
      Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, led by principal investigator Scott Bailey Key partners include Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah, Global Atmospheric Technologies and Sciences in Newport News, Virginia, and Computational Physics, Inc. in Boulder, Colorado.
      For more information on NASA heliophysics missions, visit:
      https://science.nasa.gov/heliophysics
      -end-
      Karen Fox
      Headquarters, Washington
      202-358-1600
      karen.fox@nasa.gov
      Sarah Frazier
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
      202-853-7191
      sarah.frazier@nasa.gov
      Share
      Details
      Last Updated Jun 11, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
      Space Weather Earth's Atmosphere Heliophysics Science & Research Science Mission Directorate View the full article
    • By NASA
      Ed Stone, former director of JPL and project scientist for the Voyager mission, died on June 9, 2024. A friend, mentor, and colleague to many, he was known for his straightforward leadership and commitment to communicating with the public.NASA/JPL-Caltech Known for his steady leadership, consensus building, and enthusiasm for engaging the public in science, Stone left a deep impact on the space community.
      Edward C. Stone, former director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, and longtime project scientist of the agency’s Voyager mission, died on June 9, 2024. He was 88. He was preceded in death by his wife, Alice Stone. They are survived by their two daughters, Susan and Janet Stone, and two grandsons.
      Stone also served as the David Morrisroe professor of physics and vice provost for special projects at Caltech in Pasadena, California, which last year established a new faculty position, the Edward C. Stone Professorship.
      “Ed Stone was a trailblazer who dared mighty things in space. He was a dear friend to all who knew him, and a cherished mentor to me personally,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Ed took humanity on a planetary tour of our solar system and beyond, sending NASA where no spacecraft had gone before. His legacy has left a tremendous and profound impact on NASA, the scientific community, and the world. My condolences to his family and everyone who loved him. Thank you, Ed, for everything.”
      Stone served on nine NASA missions as either principal investigator or a science instrument lead, and on five others as a co-investigator (a key science instrument team member). These roles primarily involved studying energetic ions from the Sun and cosmic rays from the galaxy. He was one of the few scientists involved with both the mission that has come closest to the Sun (NASA’s Parker Solar Probe) and the one that has traveled farthest from it (Voyager).
      Ed Stone became project scientist for the Voyager mission in 1972, five years before launch, and served in the role for a total of 50 years. During that time, he also served as director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the Voyager mission for the agency. NASA/JPL-Caltech “Ed will be remembered as an energetic leader and scientist who expanded our knowledge about the universe — from the Sun to the planets to distant stars — and sparked our collective imaginations about the mysteries and wonders of deep space,” said Laurie Leshin, JPL director and Caltech vice president. “Ed’s discoveries have fueled exploration of previously unseen corners of our solar system and will inspire future generations to reach new frontiers. He will be greatly missed and always remembered by the NASA, JPL, and Caltech communities and beyond.”
      From 1972 until his retirement in 2022, Stone served as the project scientist from NASA’s longest-running mission, Voyager. The two Voyager probes took advantage of a celestial alignment that occurs just once every 176 years to visit Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. During their journeys, the spacecraft revealed the first active volcanoes beyond Earth on Jupiter’s moon Io, and an atmosphere rich with organic molecules on Saturn’s moon Titan. Voyager 2 remains the only spacecraft to fly by Uranus and Neptune, revealing Uranus’ unusual tipped magnetic poles, and the icy geysers erupting from Neptune’s moon Triton.
      “Becoming Voyager project scientist was the best decision I made in my life,” Stone said in 2018. “It opened a wonderful door of exploration.”
      During Stone’s tenure as JPL’s director from 1991 to 2001, the federally funded research and development facility was responsible for more than two dozen missions and science instruments. Among them was NASA’s Pathfinder mission, which landed on Mars in 1996 with the first Red Planet rover, Sojourner. The next year saw the launch of the NASA-ESA (European Space Agency) Cassini/Huygens mission.
      JPL also developed six missions for planetary exploration, astrophysics, Earth sciences, and heliophysics under Stone’s leadership.
      Journey to Space
      The eldest of two sons, Stone was born in Knoxville, Iowa, during the Great Depression and grew up in the nearby commercial center of Burlington. After high school, he studied physics at Burlington Junior College and went on to the University of Chicago for graduate school. Shortly after he was accepted there, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, and the Space Age began. Stone joined a team building instruments to launch into space.
      “Space was a brand-new field waiting for discovery,” Stone recalled in 2018.
      In 1964, he joined Caltech as a postdoctoral fellow, running the Space Radiation Lab together with Robbie Vogt, who had been a colleague at Chicago. They worked on a number of NASA satellite missions, studying galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles.  
      Depending on the mission, Stone served as a co-investigator or principal investigator for the missions’ instrument teams, and Vogt could see his leadership potential. “Ed didn’t let emotions get in the way of doing the best possible job,” he said. “His personality is to solve a problem when it arises.” In 1972, Vogt recommended Stone to JPL leadership to be Voyager project scientist.
      Among Stone’s many awards is the National Medal of Science from President George H.W. Bush. In 2019, he was presented with the Shaw Prize in Astronomy, with an award of $1.2 million, for his leadership in the Voyager project. Stone was also proud to have a middle school named after him in Burlington, Iowa, as an inspiration to young learners.
      News Media Contact
      Calla Cofield
      Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
      626-808-2469
      calla.e.cofield@jpl.nasa.gov
      2024-081
      Share
      Details
      Last Updated Jun 11, 2024 Related Terms
      Voyager Program Heliophysics Heliosphere Jet Propulsion Laboratory Jupiter Neptune Planetary Science Saturn The Solar System Uranus Voyager 1 Voyager 2 Explore More
      6 min read NASA Watches Mars Light Up During Epic Solar Storm
      Article 1 day ago 5 min read Webb Finds Plethora of Carbon Molecules Around Young Star
      An international team of astronomers has used NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to study the…
      Article 5 days ago 4 min read Jonathan Lunine Appointed Chief Scientist of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
      Article 5 days ago View the full article
    • By NASA
      From navigating the depths of the human mind to exploring the vastness of space, Dr. Alexandra (Sandra) Whitmire helps lead research on the effects of prolonged isolation and confinement as NASA prepares to voyage to the Moon and eventually Mars. 

      Whitmire is the lead scientist for the Human Factors and Behavioral Performance element (HFBP) within NASA’s Human Research Program, or HRP. HFBP selects, supports, and helps design studies for Johnson Space Center’s HERA (Human Exploration Research Analog), which conducts missions simulating isolation and confinement to further understand psychological effects on humans.  

      These studies evaluate how crews work as a team and overcome stressors, bringing to light the potential effects of prolonged isolation on behavioral health. They also help reveal strategies for keeping crew members cohesive and engaged on long-duration missions. With greater workloads, higher stress, and more isolation anticipated in future spaceflight missions, especially with communication delays, this research is crucial. 
      Alexandra Whitmire at a Human Resources swearing-in ceremony at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz Strategies that support astronauts’ mental health have been around since the early days of spaceflight, and a strong team at NASA is in place to support the behavioral health of crews on the International Space Station. This team facilitates services such as communication with family, regular provision of crew care packages, and guidance on the optimal use of onboard methods that seek to counter adverse effects of spaceflight. For instance, lighting systems that simulate daytime and nighttime can help maintain circadian rhythms in the dark of deep space. HFBP learns from the astronauts’ current psychological support teams, while also planning a research strategy that aims to maintain this level of care in future missions beyond low Earth orbit.  

      Initially working through KBR as a research coordinator, Whitmire played a key role in establishing NASA’s behavioral health and performance research group in 2006. Over time, this small group advocated for dedicated research facilities, leading to the creation of HERA in 2013 and a Behavioral Health and Performance Laboratory in 2016. HFBP also initiates and oversees studies in Antarctica, and also created and managed studies previously conducted through the Scientific International Research In a Unique terrestrial Station, or SIRIUS, a series of international missions that were held inside a ground-based analog facility in Moscow, Russia. 

      Whitmire’s role now involves managing projects aimed at mitigating risks for future spaceflight. She specializes in fatigue management, performance measurement, and strategies to counter behavioral changes that may result from spaceflight.  

      “My journey to NASA was quite unexpected,” she said. “With a background in psychology and writing, I never imagined I’d find an opportunity working in space exploration.” 
      Whitmire began her career supporting the state of Texas and MD Anderson Cancer Center on organizational development. She joined NASA’s HRP in 2006 as a research coordinator for the Human Health and Performance element. 

      Whitmire completed her bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She then earned her master’s in psychology, with a focus on experimental psychology, from the University of Texas in San Antonio, and years later, while continuing her full-time work with KBR, she completed her doctorate in psychology from Capella University. 
      Katie Koube, a HERA (Human Exploration Research Analog) crew member from Campaign 6 Mission 4, prepares food inside the ground-based habitat. Through HERA missions, HRP conducts studies that seek to evaluate how crew health and performance can be affected by stressors anticipated in future exploration missions.  One example study, led by Dr. Grace Douglas, a food technology scientist at Johnson, explored a restricted food system in which meals were replaced with compact bars. Douglas found that limited food options were associated with reduced eating and caloric intake, as well as decrements in mood, highlighting the importance of an acceptable food system for mental well-being on long duration missions.  

      Another study led by Dr. Leslie DeChurch, a professor of Communication and Psychology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., revealed that teams performed worse on a complex, conceptual task at the end of a mission compared to earlier on, highlighting the need to maintain team cohesion and performance over time. Still more studies seek to evaluate the effects of communications delays of up to five minutes each way between crew and HERA’s mission control, which sits just outside the HERA facility.   

      As NASA prepares to launch the first crewed Artemis missions, HRP’s behavioral health team is also incorporating studies to address Moon-specific challenges. The team is focused on the unique demands of lunar landings, such as high-tempo operations and seconds-long communication delays. The current goal is to increase the fidelity of HERA to future Artemis missions to ensure that more meaningful, operationally-relevant results emerge from future investigations.  
      The HERA Campaign 7 Mission 1 crew members inside the analog environment at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Through these studies, scientists learn valuable lessons about resilience and coping mechanisms that can benefit future space missions. Their findings emphasize the importance of maintaining social connections, adequate work-rest schedules, and opportunities for exercise to support mental health. Being intentional and reflective with gratitude and positive emotions has also shown significant value, Whitmire notes, adding that during her time at NASA, she has learned more about the importance of relationships, communication, and resolving problems together as a team. 

      “Overall, our goal is to ensure that astronauts are well-prepared for and supported through the psychological demands of space exploration. We seek to apply these insights to improve mental health support for everyone,” Whitmire said. “All of us can learn from these crew members in their periods of isolation to get insights on how to live happier, healthier lives here on Earth.” 
      View the full article
  • Check out these Videos

×
×
  • Create New...