NASA has restored contact with its lost space probe, Voyager 2, earlier than expected. A wrong command issued last July to the probe, which was launched into space for exploratory purposes, changed its location and then lost contact with it.
NASA picked up the signal last Tuesday from the spacecraft thanks to a “interstellar cry,” powerful electronic commands that redirected the antenna back to Earth, reports Al-Rai daily.
NASA was pinning hopes that the probe would reset itself by itself next October. It took the managers of this space mission about 37 hours to figure out whether the interstellar commands they sent succeeded in redirecting Voyager 2, which is swimming in space billions of miles from Earth.
Susan Dodd, Voyager project manager, told AFP that the crews used the “highest power transmitter” to communicate with the spacecraft so that the message would arrive at the right time and in “the best conditions”, ensuring the probe’s response to the command.
Since July 21, the probe has not been able to receive commands or transmit data back to NASA’s Deep Space Network, a collection of giant radio antennas around the world, and the spacecraft does not receive commands from ground controllers.
On August 4, NASA confirmed that it had received data from the spacecraft, which it said had begun operating normally.
The agency expects the spacecraft, loaded with scientific instruments, to continue its planned trajectory around the universe.