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  • Writer's pictureJames Paulson

Voyager 2 Gets An Update

Just imagine what it would be like to do updates on a computer with 68 KB of memory, with a processor speed of 250 KHz and a data transfer rate of about 160 bps…that’s 0.160 kbps, or 0.000160 mbps – not exactly DSL level speed. It takes about 18 hours to upload the patch at that speed.

This is exactly what engineers at JPL did with Voyager 2 on October 20th, and tests are scheduled to confirm its success on October 28th. They have sent a software update that will help correct the spacecraft orientation much better and also conserve the use of the attitude control system thrusters due to issues with clogging on the lines. By doing these simple fixes, they should be able to prolong the mission first launched in 1977 by another 5 years.

NASA is using Voyager 2 as the test bed for this update before doing the same thing to Voyager 1. We will know the results of this update hopefully next week.

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