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NASA tries to unscramble Voyager 2 signals
Scientists puzzled by undecipherable data from solar system’s edge
By John Antczak
The Associated Press
updated 8:25 p.m. ET, Thurs., May 6, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Engineers are working to solve a problem with science data transmissions from the Voyager 2 spacecraft near the edge of the solar system, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Thursday.
The spacecraft late last month began sending science data 8.6 billion miles (13.8 billion kilometers) to Earth in a changed format that mission managers could not decode.
Engineers have since instructed Voyager 2 to only transmit data on its own health and status while they work on the problem.
That engineering data is in a different format and is fine, said Ed Stone, the Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
"This is volatile memory just like in your computer where you boot up," Stone said. "And so occasionally a cosmic ray particle can cause one of the bits to flip, or it can actually have a failure in one of the bits."
in a changed format that mission managers could not decode
Originally posted by UberL33t
Funny how a pre-programmed piece of equipment is all of a sudden returning un-decodable data.
Originally posted by UruFist
I don't see how a particle flipping an 0 to a 1 is going to change the formatting of all data to undecipherable.
It doesn't make sense.
And, if something like that DID happen, I am sure there would be ways to isolate different date transmissions, so they would be able to pinpoint where such a chip/flip would have happened.
This chip handles this, that chip handles that, etc.
And, yes, I do know what I am talking about.
Originally posted by Phage