In its heydays, Voyager 1 has flown by planets, such as Saturn, Jupiter, and also some of their significant moons.
Voyager was launched in 1977 and is now the only spacecraft in interstellar space, or the area beyond the solar system.
IF you tried to start a auto after 40 years of it sitting in your garage, you might expect to run into a bit of trouble.
The thrusters that the Voyager 1 has been using are called "attitude control thrusters" and the engineers at the space agency spotted that they had been degrading since the year 2014.
Now travelling far outside our solar system, and with its primary thrusters on their last legs, NASA chose to conduct a test on its long-rested back-up system.
NASA engineers have fired up 40-year-old technology from a distance of 13 billion miles.
"The Voyager team got more excited each time with each milestone in the thruster test".
Corbis via Getty Images The original Voyager 2 mission control room. Things have changed quite a bit since then
Voyager 1 doesn't actually need thrusters to continue drifting through space. To accurately fly by and point the spacecraft's instruments at a smorgasbord of targets, engineers used "trajectory correction maneuver", or TCM, thrusters that are identical in size and functionality to the attitude control thrusters, and are located on the back side of the spacecraft. But because Voyager 1's last planetary encounter was Saturn, the Voyager team hadn't needed to use the TCM thrusters since November 8, 1980.
These small backup thrusters use hydrazine propellant and could be vital to extending Voyager 1's mission.
This artist rendering released by NASA shows NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft barreling through space.
Still, the team though the TCM thrusters might suit their purposes, so on November 28, they chose to fire them up with 10-millisecond pulses to test if they could be a viable replacement for the almost spent thrusters. It takes 19 hours, 35 minutes for information to reach Voyager 1 and another 19 hours, 35 minutes for it to report home, so NASA didn't get the results of the data immediately.
According to NASA, the test last Wednesday saw the probe fire the TCM thrusters for 10 milliseconds in a series of pulses that demonstrated that they were capable of taking over the task of attitude control.
The last time these engines were run in 1980.
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