(FILES) This NASA file image obtained 09 August 2002 shows one of the Voyager spacecraft. Now in its 25th year, Voyager continues its quest to push the bounds of space exploration. The twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft opened new vistas in space by greatly expanding our knowledge of Jupiter and Saturn. NASA

The US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration has recently updated that its Voyager 2 probe has signaled it is in ‘good health’ after mission control mistakenly cut contact for several days, reported AFP on 1 August.

The Voyager 2 probe, launched in 1977, is currently over 12.3 billion miles (19.9 billion kilometers) from our planet and is exploring interstellar space along with its twin, Voyager 1.

On 21 July, a series of planned commands sent to Voyager 2 ‘inadvertently caused the antenna to point two degrees away from Earth’, AFP quoted NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) statement.

Following this, Voyager 2 was unable to transmit data or receive commands to its mission control — a situation that was not expected to be resolved until it conducted an automated re-orientation maneuver on 15 October.

However, on 31 July, NASA’s Sun & Space account posted on social media that contact had been re-established.

“The Deep Space Network has picked up a carrier signal from @NASAVoyager 2, letting us know that the spacecraft is in good health,” the agency said. As per details, the Deep Space Network is NASA’s international array of giant radio antennas.

The missions are part of the NASA Heliophysics System Observatory, while NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) built and operates the Voyager spacecraft.

In December 2018, Voyager 2 left the protective magnetic bubble provided by the Sun, called the heliosphere, and is currently traveling through the space between the stars.

Voyager 2 became the first and so far only spacecraft to have visited the outer planets Uranus and Neptune. While, Voyager 1 was humanity’s first spacecraft to enter the interstellar medium in 2012, and is currently almost 15 billion miles from Earth.

The report added that both Voyager spacecraft carry ‘Golden Records — 12-inch, gold-plated copper disks intended to convey the story of our world to extraterrestrials.

With AFP inputs.

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Updated: 01 Aug 2023, 09:45 PM IST

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