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NASA Finds Cause of Voyager 2 Glitch

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posted on May, 19 2010 @ 11:45 AM
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NASA Finds Cause of Voyager 2 Glitch


news.discovery.com

What a difference a bit makes. NASA engineers believe they have traced the cause of Voyager 2's gibberish to single flip of bit in the spacecraft’s memory.

"A value in a single memory location was changed from a 0 to a 1," said JPL’s Veronia McGregor.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on May, 19 2010 @ 11:45 AM
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We had been concerned and confused regarding the spacecraft's data stream integrity.

Now I find myself wondering if the problem could have been caused by degrading electronic on-board.

A parity error should have been easier to diagnose, but then - this is NASA we're talking about.

Evidently, all is well with our Voyager.....

news.discovery.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 11:53 AM
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Isn't it reassuring when they come up with tidy answers to things. It's almost like it's the truth.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by Maxmars


We had been concerned and confused regarding the spacecraft's data stream integrity.

Now I find myself wondering if the problem could have been caused by degrading electronic on-board.

A parity error should have been easier to diagnose, but then - this is NASA we're talking about.

Evidently, all is well with our Voyager.....

news.discovery.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case. I mean, you're looking at 30+ year old hardware and software. The chances of degradation over the years increases exponentially. Of course, I still have an Apple IIe that still runs like the day it was purchased. This computer, of course, isn't flying through space...



I just don't know if I can accept the "tidy answer" but given the fact this equipment is 30+ years old, it wouldn't be so far fetched that it would be related to a hardware/software malfunction. It's too bad that we won't learn any more now that they have "solved the case."



Peace be with you.

-truthseeker



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by Durant
 



Isn't it reassuring when they come up with tidy answers to things. It's almost like it's the truth.


What's peculiar, is it took them this long to come up with that truthful explanation



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 12:14 PM
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I tend to be skeptical of this 'tidy' (nice word) answer to the matter.

However, given that they hold all the keys to the kingdom, I suppose it will have to do.

It would be interesting to have access to the 'corrupted' data stream for analytical purposes... but once again.... this is NASA we're talking about.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by Durant
Isn't it reassuring when they come up with tidy answers to things. It's almost like it's the truth.

What I find amazing is how fast people leap to "out of this world" speculation instead of waiting for a reasoned investigation. It should act as a warning for readers of other off the wall speculation where the true cause can't be determined quite so quickly.

This weeks New Scientist is a must read for everybody on ATS.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 01:22 PM
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reply to post by malcr
 


What I find amazing is how fast people leap to "out of this world" speculation instead of waiting for a reasoned investigation.


Sorry, but, considering the circumstances - anyone who didn't jump to conclusions, IMO lacks not only imagination, but HOPE.

That being said - do I believe the answer NASA is giving us?

I HOPE not.

peace



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by Maxmars
A parity error should have been easier to diagnose, but then - this is NASA we're talking about.


Yep. All they did was build a spacecraft that operated for over 30 years and is approaching the limits of our Solar System.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:01 PM
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Originally posted by silo13
reply to post by malcr
 


What I find amazing is how fast people leap to "out of this world" speculation instead of waiting for a reasoned investigation.


Sorry, but, considering the circumstances - anyone who didn't jump to conclusions, IMO lacks not only imagination, but HOPE.

That being said - do I believe the answer NASA is giving us?

I HOPE not.

peace


You must not do a lot of hardware debug.

I can safely say, I've never had to analyze any hardware or software bug where the first thing that came to mind was "UFOs did it". While there's often some imaginative thought used in figuring out why something is malfing the way it is, I'd have to say "...because an outer space alien wants to send us a message this way" would be less imaginative debugging technique than, say, fantasy.

And the hope I'd have would generally fall into "I HOPE I don't do something to this half-busted piece of gear that we can't physically reach that shuts the thing down permanently", but what I wouldn't be saying is "I HOPE this really is from an outer space alien so that they can come save me from [x]".

The first thing you suspect in a piece of space gear that's having a bit of daffiness is that you have a bit-flip. Usually a single bit, but sometimes an error like that can cause the processor to run amok and trash the whole thing.

You get bit-flips from cosmic rays, usually. You can somewhat shield against them, but not much, and you can design to resist bit changes, but not totally. Typically, a system like this would also be designed for error correction, but even with error correction, it's possible to get more bit-flips in a word than you can correct, it's also possible to have the syndrome memory take the hit and have the error correction circuit "miscorrect" good memory contents. Bit errors in memory are probably the most common source of mystery malfunctions on spaceborne equipment.

I know it's not romantic and alluring like the thought of some alien breaking into a spacecraft and somehow altering it to send signals. I'm not sure how the logic of that holds up, though, why wouldn't the aliens just fake it? Or send an obvious message?



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:03 PM
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oh!

So it was sending


010101010101010101
Instead of
101010101010101010


I see.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:07 PM
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Well, if the ATS mods wouldn't have hastily banned AstroEngineer... he said this was the case on May 12th:

Voyager 2 has flipped its bit




posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
oh!

So it was sending


010101010101010101
Instead of
101010101010101010


I see.


More like:

OUTLOOP:MOV AL,DX+[SI]
OUT RADIODATA,AL
DEC CX
JNZ OUTLOOP

turned into something like:

OUTLOOP: MOV AL,CL
SUB CX,0
OUT RADIODATA,AL
DEC CX
JNZ OUTLOOP

as a single bit flip turned one instruction into a different one, or several different ones.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:51 PM
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So it was bit rot after all!

Darn Ones and Zeros!



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 03:11 PM
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well I have to say
I am a bit disappointed

I was hoping to understand
ET's message, lol



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 03:42 PM
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reply to post by Bedlam
 


More people need to remember the old saying.

"When you hear hoof beats think horses, not zebras."



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 04:19 PM
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Originally posted by JIMC5499
reply to post by Bedlam
 


More people need to remember the old saying.

"When you hear hoof beats think horses, not zebras."


I do have to admit, while I've never seen a UFO damaged piece of equipment, it's often obvious that SATAN is a culprit for hardware malfunctions, especially in radar and comm installations. Since RF design is all FM anyway, Satan and his minions can enter in to the magic incantations you use to get the plumbing working correctly.

We have a Bible and a rosary here in a glass case marked "Break glass in case of demonic infestation of equipment". We've used it a couple of times.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 04:45 PM
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You young 'uns don't remember what us old fahrts have witnessed first hand.

Back when Veeger was launched, there was a HUGE ship docked in San Francisco Bay.

It was the HUGHES GLOMAR EXPLORER.

There were mainstream science mag (cover) stories about its (cover) mission to bring up Manganese nodules from midocean ridges.

Years later, the truth came out: it was designed to recover sunken Soviet submarines, as a covert mission.

Those of us who watched Nixon et al operate know from experience that there is a chance, however small, that the truth is quite different from the press release.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by Chakotay
Those of us who watched Nixon et al operate know from experience that there is a chance, however small, that the truth is quite different from the press release.


Those of us that occasionally design equipment for high altitude/space environments know from experience that you're always up for a memory hit. That's one of the reasons you use triple redundancy at times, and error correction, and don't use memory devices with small feature sizes (if you can avoid it).

If it came down to - wow, a sudden wacky behavior in a spaceborne computational system that when I dump the memory back turns out to be a single bit error, or hey, aliens for some reason broke into the spacecraft, somehow analyzed the systems and rewrote the software to cleverly play the Reticulan National Anthem as a clever message/prank to earthlings instead of, say, just landing on the White House lawn or sending a message that actually made some sense from their own spacecraft, I'm going with the bit-flip every time.

If you're old enough to remember the first days of the PC, you likely used to get parity errors a lot - those first DRAMS were renowned for bit-flipping with very little provocation. We could tell when the cosmic ray count was up by the number of systems that dropped offline that day.



posted on Jun, 6 2010 @ 11:21 PM
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Is there anything else like Voyager 2 out there? Or perhaps anything in the works? I think it's great that we're sending message out there. Perhaps in the future instead of using a golden record we can send a $50 gift voucher for iTunes.



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