NASA Woke Up Voyager 1 Space Probe From 21 Billion Kilometers Away and Were Amazed by The Feedback they Received

Voyager 1 Probe became the first man-made object to leave the solar system in 2012 and embrace interstellar Space. Within the next decade, the space probe has traveled further into interstellar space, studying the cosmos’ beauty from billions of miles away from its manufacturers. When did NASA launch the Voyager 1 space probe? When was it turned off? Why did Nasa decide to wake it up after many years? You are about to find answers to these questions.

How NASA successfully woke the Voyager 1 Space Probe Up from 21 Billion Kilometers Away

After NASA successfully launched the Voyager 1 Space Probe, the space agency used its trajectory correction maneuver(TCM) thrusters in the early phases of the mission. However, these thrusters were turned off in 1980, as the Voyager 1 continued its journey to interstellar space. In December 2017, NASA noticed that Voyager 1’s antenna was no longer pointing toward the earth.

This implies that the space agency will receive fewer signals from the space probe. So, NASA successfully ignited four of Voyager 1’s trajectory correction maneuver (TCM) thrusters from 21 billion kilometers away. The space agency never expected the probe to respond.

But to their surprise, the probe responded and fired up four of its TCM thrusters after remaining turned off for 37 years. NASA intended to use the TCM thrusters to enable Voyager 1 to continue returning data to earth for the next few years. NASA thinks that the Voyager 1 may stop transmitting data around 2025.

How was Voyager 1 built?

As the Space race began to take another level in the mid of 20th century, NASA and the Soviet Union were in the race to reach a distant space world and show their technological advancement over time. After NASA successfully put humans on the moon in 1969, the agency began to look further into exploring the Solar system and beyond with robotic space missions.

NASA later began the construction of Voyager 1 in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The agency designed the space probe with 16 hydrazine thrusters, a 3.7-meter diameter high gain Cassegrain antenna, three-axis stabilization gyroscopes, three radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) connected on a boom and other advanced features. Its communication systems were designed to be used within and outside the solar system.

NASA intended to achieve heliosphere, outer planetary, and interstellar medium exploration using its voyager 1 space probe. So, the probe was designed to be highly sophisticated as it explores deep space.

When did Voyager 1 launch?

After NASA had completed the sophisticated design of the Voyager 1, the space agency launched the Voyager 1 probe on September 5, 1977, aboard the Titan IIIE launch vehicle. The launch occurred from Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. After the launch, the Voyager 1 commenced its journey to the Stars.

How Voyager 1 Began its Journey

Before Voyager 1 was launched, NASA has already launched Voyager 2 on August 20, 1977. However, the Voyager 1 still managed to reach Jupiter and Saturn before the Voyager 2 as it followed a shorter trajectory. In January 1979, Voyager 1 reached Jupiter and began to capture the gas giant planet using its sophisticated camera system.

The spacecraft made moved to its closest distance to Jupiter on March 5, 1979. At that moment, it reached a distance of 217,000 miles (349,000 kilometers) from Jupiter and captured more incredible photos of the gas giant. Voyager 1 left Jupiter in April 1979 and began its journey to Saturn.

However, it conducted a gravity assist at Jupiter to reach Saturn in November 1980. The space probe moved closer to Saturn’s clouds top and reached a distance of 124000 kilometers (77,000 miles) away from the ringed planet. Before flying deeper into space, Voyager 1 studied Saturn’s rings, atmosphere, and moons.

When were the Voyager 1 Cameras Put to Sleep?

After studying the two biggest gas giants in the solar system, the Voyager continued its journey into the cosmos. On February 14, 1990, the Voyager 1 captured the first family portrait of the solar system. The spacecraft also captured earth as a dot from this great distance.

This image is known as the Pale Blue Dot, which has become famous over time. After this fantastic capture, NASA officially turned off the cameras of the Voyager to conserve its energy and computer resources for usage in the future. The engineers further removed the camera software from the spacecraft. This implies that restoring the software in this spacecraft will be difficult.

When did Voyager 1 Space Exit the Heliopause?

After exploring space for several decades, Voyager 1 space probe traveled beyond the Heliopause and entered interstellar space on August 25, 2012. This marked the beginning of a new era of astronomy as the Voyager 1 became the first human-made object to reach this milestone.

At this point, astronomers estimated the distance of the Voyager 1 space probe from earth to be about 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from the sun. The space probe has continued to explore interstellar space ever since then. NASA was never a way that the Voyager could attain such a milestone. But it did and proved how technologically advanced we have become over time.


The Voyager 1 has taken human wisdom to interstellar space. It even has a golden-plated audio-visual disc that contains detailed information about life on earth. If another civilization founds the probe, they will learn about the existence of life on a distanced planet. Although NASA has estimated that the Voyager may stop transmitting data around 2025, we are still hopeful about the future of the Voyager 1 space probe in interstellar space.

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1 thought on “NASA Woke Up Voyager 1 Space Probe From 21 Billion Kilometers Away and Were Amazed by The Feedback they Received”

  1. I know NASA is great but so we!
    Yes, the general public.
    Technology has moved at an alarming rate since the blue dot photograph. Now I know it’s not the same but it’s similar when a small team of volunteer retired engineers can receive texts in the UK from hand pumped water Wells in Tanzania! This helps proactive maintenance of the Wells and keeps people alive. As I said it’s not the same but it is ‘data from a distance’ and it’s a wonderful feeling.
    My personal thanks to NASA for all you have done and are doing. The blue dot hangs in pride of place in my workshop to this day!

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