NASA has managed to make contact again with the Voyager 2 spacecraft for the first time since mid-March. The spacecraft has been flying solo while the 230-foot-wide deep space radio antenna used to communicate with it has been offline for repairs and upgrades. On October 29th, NASA mission operators sent a series of commands and Voyager 2 returned a signal confirming it had received the “call” and executed them without issue. Read more for two Voyager 2 videos and additional information.
The team sent these commands using new hardware recently installed on Deep Space Station 43 – located in Canberra, Australia – the only dish in the world that can send commands to Voyager 2. Since it went offline, mission operators have been able to receive health updates and science data from Voyager 2, but could not send commands.
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What makes this task unique is that we’re doing work at all levels of the antenna, from the pedestal at ground level all the way up to the feedcones at the center of the dish that extend above the rim. This test communication with Voyager 2 definitely tells us that things are on track with the work we’re doing,” said Brad Arnold, the DSN project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Southern California.