The Voyager spacecraft is now at 13 billion miles from Earth. The test results traveled through space, taking 19 hours and 35 minutes to reach an antenna in Goldstone, California. ‘With these thrusters that are still functional after 37 years without use, we will be able to extend the life of the Voyager 1 spacecraft by two to three years,’ said Suzanne Dodd, project manager for Voyager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
Since 2014, engineers have noticed that the other thrusters Voyager 1 has been specially using to orient the spacecraft, called ‘attitude control thrusters,’ have been degrading. Now, an unusual solution was used and it worked. The probe has recently sent back data to Nasa that cosmic rays are as much as four times more abundant in interstellar space than in the vicinity of Earth. Voyager 1 has reached the final frontier of our solar system, having travelled through a turbulent place where electrically charged particles from the Sun crash into thin gas from interstellar space. In the early days of the mission, Voyager 1 flew by Jupiter, Saturn, and important moons of each.Voyager 1 and 2, are celebrating 40 years of operation and exploration this month.