Voyager 2 Fault Protection Triggered - Engineers Working to Restore Normal Operations

  • Voyager 2 Fault Protection Triggered - Engineers Working to Restore Normal Operations

Voyager 2 Fault Protection Triggered - Engineers Working to Restore Normal Operations

On January 25, Voyager 2 was unable to perform a scheduled 360 degree rotation, a maneuver that the probe could use to calibrate its magnetic field instrument.

Engineers for NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft are going to return the goal to regular working circumstances after one of many spacecraft's autonomous fault safety routines was triggered.

The fault protection routine was programmed into the spacecraft, so it could automatically take action to protect itself if harmful circumstances arise.

According to a NASA press release, the Voyager 2 spacecraft had a weekend break, but the probe is now recovering and will resume scientific activities soon.

Voyager 2 signaled its handlers back on Earth that it had encountered a problem with its autonomous systems. The team is now reviewing the status of the rest of the spacecraft and working on returning it to normal operations.

That caused the spacecraft to overdraw its power supply.

The fault safety software program routine was created to handle such an occasion routinely, and by design, it seems to have turned off Voyager 2's science devices to make up for the facility deficit.

"Here is the skinny: my twin went to make a roll to calibrate the magnetometer on board, exceeded the power and fired software created to automatically protect the spacecraft".

Voyager's energy provide comes from a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG), which turns warmth from the decay of radioactive materials into electrical energy to energy the spacecraft.

Last fall, scientists confirmed that Voyager 2 had broken through the hydrogen wall at the edge of the solar system and was racing through the interstellar space.

In addition to managing each Voyager's power supply, mission operators must also manage the temperature of certain systems on the spacecraft. When the probes can no longer point their antennas back at Earth, we will lose communication with them for good. Voyager 2 is just a device of 11.5 billion miles from Earth. Even with information at the speed of light, technicians have to expect 17 hours to get info and another 17 beyond that to confirm that command was strong. As a result, mission engineers have to wait about 34 hours to find out if their commands have had the desired effect on the spacecraft.

The Voyager spacecraft were built by JPL, which continues to operate both. JPL is a division of Caltech in Pasadena.