NASA Has Reestablished Full Communications With Voyager 2

NASA's Twin Voyager Spacecraft

An artist concept depicting one of NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft. Humanity’s farthest and longest-lived spacecraft celebrated 40 years in August and September 2017. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s facility in Australia successfully reoriented Voyager 2, receiving science and telemetry data confirming the spacecraft’s normal operation and expected trajectory.

NASA’s Deep Space Network facility in Canberra, Australia, sent the equivalent of an interstellar “shout” more than 12.3 billion miles (19.9 billion kilometers) to Voyager 2, instructing the spacecraft to reorient itself and turn its antenna back to Earth. With a one-way light time of 18.5 hours for the command to reach Voyager, it took 37 hours for mission controllers to learn whether the command worked. At 12:29 a.m. EDT on August 4, the spacecraft began returning science and telemetry data, indicating it is operating normally and that it remains on its expected trajectory.

Deep Space Station 43

Deep Space Station 43 features a 70-meter diameter antenna and is the largest steerable parabolic antenna in the Southern Hemisphere. This colossal structure weighs over 3000 tonnes and rotates on a thin oil film. The reflector surface consists of 1,272 aluminum panels covering a total area of 4180 square meters, with outer panels perforated to allow wind and rain to pass through. Credit: NASA

NASA’s Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC) features a number of ‘big dish’ antennas that are required daily to receive data from; and transmit commands to; a wide variety of spacecraft. In 1987, Deep Space Station 43 (DSS-43) was expanded from a 64-meter diameter antenna to a 70-meter diameter one to bolster its capabilities for Voyager 2’s 1989 encounter with Neptune.

2 Comments on "NASA Has Reestablished Full Communications With Voyager 2"

  1. WOW !

  2. Double WOW!

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