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NASA restores contact with Voyager 2 space probe

It is remarkable to think that Voyager 2 was launched by NASA as long ago as 1977, 46 years ago.  Despite having left our solar system 5 years ago, after surveying the outer planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, Voyager 2 continues to send back data to Nasa's Deep Space Network - an array of giant radio antennas across the world. 

Contact with Voyager 2 was lost in July, but has now thankfully been restored following a powerful signal sent to the probe causing it to realign its antenna with earth. Voyager 2 uses a plutonium power source, which is expected to continue supplying electricity to the probe until sometime after 2025, at which point its instruments and 20W transmitter will die. Until then, NASA hopes to continue to receive data.

According to the research company GreyB, as of 2022 NASA had a total of 2662 patents, generating an annual revenue of $1.5 billion. NASA also maintains a portfolio of patents with commercial potential and makes them available to the public through a patent licensing program.

Staff used the "highest-power transmitter" to send a message to the spacecraft and timed it to be sent during "the best conditions" so the antenna lined up with the command.


patents, space, transport