Voyager 2 rises again

Voyager 2 (NASA/JPL image). Click for more info.

About a month ago there was a report that Voyager 2, one of the two Little Spacecraft That Could, had gone bonkers and started transmitting back gibberish instead of readable science data. Digital tears were shed all over the world for the little Earth messenger that had bravely soldiered on for decades after its sell-by date.

But wait! Voyager 2 is back! The giant-head geniuses at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory somehow figured out that the whole problem was caused by a cosmic ray that flipped one memory bit, throwing Voyager’s software a-kilter. So they, in effect, rebooted it and now it’s working fine again, sending back clear data at its blazing rate of 160 bits per second. (Remember that this thing is older than the first Apple computer.) Read the full story.

Voyager still has a millions of fans on Earth. Or does this refer to the first Star Trek movie, where a long-lost Voyager known as “V  GER” plays a sinister leading role?

(Note the depiction of the Pleiades star cluster on the brand badge of this Subaru: “Subaru” is the Japanese name for the Pleiades. The Subaru Telescope, Japan’s huge 8.2-meter telescope that sits atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, is named after the star cluster, not the automobile.)

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