NASA sent the Voyager 1 spacecraft into space almost half a century ago. As it was intended, the spacecraft has passed far beyond the edges of our Solar System. Located at 14.5 billion miles away from Earth, Voyager 1 is officially the farthest spacecraft from us.
Voyager 1 is still very far away from the closest solar system to ours. That’s Alpha Centauri, and it’s located about 4.3 light-years away from the Sun. But still, Voyager 1 can gather a lot of interesting data about the Universe. As expected, it just happened once again.
AACS indicates Voyager 1 is confused about its place in space
NASA says that the attitude articulation and control system (aka AACS) is indicating that the spacecraft is confused regarding its place in space. AACS plays an important role in helping the spacecraft send data about the environment.
Suzanne Dodd, who is project manager for both Voyager missions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA in Southern California, explained as quoted by the space agency’s website:
A mystery like this is sort of par for the course at this stage of the Voyager mission,
The spacecraft are both almost 45 years old, which is far beyond what the mission planners anticipated. We’re also in interstellar space – a high-radiation environment that no spacecraft have flown in before. So there are some big challenges for the engineering team. But I think if there’s a way to solve this issue with the AACS, our team will find it.
Voyager 1 left our Solar System ten years ago, accessing the interstellar space. For the moment, there seems to be no possible way to bring the spacecraft back to Earth.
As for the Voyager 2 spacecraft, it was also launched in 1977 into space. Until now, it has reached 12.06 billion miles or 129.81 AU away from Earth.