The Voyager 2 spacecraft has been on Earth for more than 43 years, and now has 125 astronomical units from our planet. That is, the distance between the earth and the sun is 125 times.
It is understandable that this distance is so difficult to communicate with NASA’s long-distance spacecraft that there is a time delay of more than 17 hours. However, with Voyager 2, there is another problem with talking to the spacecraft.
After flying over Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, Voyager 2 passed its final planetary flight to Neptune in August 1989. Scientists were also eager to fly Neptune’s mysterious moon Triton, so they ordered Voyager 2 to fly over Neptune to Triton’s North Pole. This route carried it southward in relation to the plane of the solar system, and it was booked southward.
This results in NASA having to communicate with the deep space network on Earth, which has three major radio antenna facilities worldwide in California, Spain and Australia. In general, this geographical spread allows all NASA spacecraft to have the ability to communicate with any of these still active facilities at all times.
But as the Voyager 2 descended so far south from the solar system’s plane, it could now only communicate visually with a 70-meter-wide antenna in Canberra, Australia. Since the facility is about five decades old, it needed it Undergo updates and upgrades Beginning in March, it has been offline ever since. The mission is expected to be completed in February, so signals from NASA to Voyager 2 could not be sent.
Last week, Voyager mission managers were able to send a series of signals to the spacecraft for the first time since March, to test the newly installed hardware on the large dish. Voyager 2 responded that it had actually received signals and carried out NASA commands, Says the space agency.
This is generally good for NASA and science, as Voyager 2 (along with Voyager 1) is now entering the galaxy beyond the solar system. In the larger black beyond, Voyager 2 continues to provide data on the velocity, density, temperature, and pressure of charged particles in interstellar media.