The Voyager 1 interplanetary probe was launched in 1977 and has now attained interstellar area in which it is the furthest-traveled guy-manufactured item. It is hugely exceeded its authentic mission and continues to return beneficial scientific facts, but there’s an obvious fault which is leaving its controllers perplexed. Onboard is an frame of mind regulate program which retains the craft’s antennas pointing at Earth, and whilst it evidently still operates (as we’re nevertheless in contact with the probe) and other systems are wonderful, it is started off returning incomprehensible information. Apparently it’s developed a routine of reporting random data, or states the antenna can not maybe be in.
That a 45 yr aged laptop is still performing at all is testament to the expertise of its designers, and at 14.5 billion miles absent a mend is unattainable on the other hand a lot we’d be fascinated to know about the failure modes of aged electronics in room. It’s postulated that they could possibly simply just stay with the fault if the system is still working, concern a program resolve, or find some way to use 1 of the craft’s redundant programs to prevent the difficulty. Meanwhile we can rest conveniently in our beds, simply because we’re even now a few of centuries away from its return as a huge alien sentient equipment.
We’ve highlighted the Voyager software a number of times ahead of in this article at Hackaday, not the very least when we took a shut appear at a single of its instruments.
Many thanks [Jon Woodcock] for the idea.