New Delhi, July 31, 2023: NASA’s iconic Voyager 2 probe, part of the twin mission launched in the 1970s to explore the outer planets of our solar system, is facing a critical communication issue. A routine sequence of commands recently triggered a two-degree change in Voyager 2’s antenna orientation, preventing it from receiving commands or transmitting data back to Earth.
This glitch has disrupted its ability to communicate with ground antennas operated by the Deep Space Network (DSN), leaving the spacecraft unable to receive commands from the mission team on Earth.
NASA is concerned that this could potentially sever Voyager 2’s connection with Earth permanently as it ventures deeper into interstellar space. Currently positioned approximately 19.9 billion kilometers away from our planet, there is apprehension that this might be the last time the spacecraft sends data or receives commands from Earth.
However, there is still hope for the iconic probe. NASA explained that Voyager 2 is “programmed to reset its orientation multiple times each year to keep its antenna pointing at Earth.” This procedure, scheduled for October 15, is expected to re-establish the lost connection and allow routine communications to resume.
The mission team remains confident that the spacecraft will maintain its planned trajectory despite the temporary communication lapse. Interestingly, Voyager 1, located almost 24 billion kilometers from Earth, continues to operate without any issues.
As the space agency works to restore communication with Voyager 2, the world holds its breath, awaiting further updates on the fate of this incredible spacecraft that has provided humanity with invaluable insights into the mysteries of our universe.