In all of God’s magnificent creation, mankind is unique #TBT

Posted By on June 9, 2022

Voyager1LookingBackatEarthThere are days we humans need to be reminded that we are small in relation to the universe, but unique (Genesis 1:27) and loved (John 3:16) in relation to God’s magnificent creation.


Voyager 1 continues into heading into our outer solar system as the space probe continues to communicate with the Deep Space Network and transmits back to Earth (to make this post a Throwback Thursday #TBT post, it was launched when I moved into Founder’s Hall at Ohio Northern University back on September 5th 1977).

Here’s a photo “of Earth” … and according to NASA and JPL it is currently 14.5 Billion miles away. It is the “most distant artificial object from Earth.”  Amazing.

In a further testament to the robustness of Voyager 1, the Voyager team tested the spacecraft’s trajectory correction maneuver (TCM) thrusters in late 2017 (the first time these thrusters had been fired since 1980), a project enabling the mission to be extended by two to three years. Voyager 1‘s extended mission is expected to continue until about 2025, when its radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) will no longer supply enough electric power to operate its scientific instruments.


EDIT: From recent ScienceAlert feed

NASA’s Voyager 1 Is Sending Back Mysterious Data From Beyond Our Solar System

NASA’s Voyager 1 is continuing its journey beyond our Solar System, 45 years after it was launched. But now the veteran spacecraft is sending back strange data, puzzling its engineers.

NASA said on Wednesday that while the probe is still operating properly, readouts from its attitude articulation and control system – AACS for short – don’t seem to match the spacecraft’s movements and orientation, suggesting the craft is confused about its location in space.

The AACS is essential for Voyager to send NASA data about its surrounding interstellar environment as it keeps the craft’s antenna pointing right at our planet.

“A mystery like this is sort of par for the course at this stage of the Voyager mission,” Suzanne Dodd, a project manager for Voyager 1 and 2 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement.

“The spacecraft are both almost 45 years old, which is far beyond what the mission planners anticipated.”

NASA said Voyager 1’s twin, the Voyager 2 probe, is behaving normally.

Launched in 1977 to explore the outer planets in our solar system, Voyager 1 has remained operational long past expectations and continues to send information about its journeys back to Earth. The trailblazing craft left our Solar System and entered interstellar space in 2012. It is now 14.5 billion miles away from Earth, making it the most distant human-made object.

NASA said that from what its engineers can tell, Voyager 1’s AACS is sending randomly generated data that do not “reflect what’s actually happening onboard.”

But even if system data suggests otherwise, the spacecraft’s antenna seems to be properly aligned – it is receiving and executing commands from NASA and sending data back to Earth. It said that so far the system issue hasn’t triggered the aging spacecraft to go into “safe mode,” during which it carries out only essential operations.

“Until the nature of the issue is better understood, the team cannot anticipate whether this might affect how long the spacecraft can collect and transmit science data,” NASA said.

Dodd and her team hope to figure out what’s prompting the robot emissary from Earth to send junky data.

“There are some big challenges for the engineering team,” Dodd said.

A major one: It takes light 20 hours and 33 minutes to get to Voyager’s current interstellar location, so a round-trip message between the space agency and Voyager takes two days.

“But I think if there’s a way to solve this issue with the AACS, our team will find it,” Dodd added.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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