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Voyager 1 — one of slot two space probes NASA launched in 1977 to study Jupiter, Saturn and their respective moons — is sending confusing data back to Earth, according to the space agency. The spacecraft’s control system regularly sends telemetry data back to NASA that indicates its location. But Voyager 1’s engineering team has recently

been puzzled by readouts from the spacecraft that contain jumbled or inaccurate data. Even more perplexingly, the nearly 45-year-old probe is otherwise in good shape — its signal is still strong and the glitch hasn’t triggered its safe mode. Voyager 2 (Voyager 1’s sister probe) appears to be perfectly fine.

“A mystery like this is sort of par for the course at this stage of the Voyager mission,” said Suzanne Dodd, the project manager for the Voyager program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “The spacecraft are both almost 45 years old, which is far beyond what the mission planners anticipated. We’re also in interstellar space – a high-radiation environment that no spacecraft have flown in before. So there are some big challenges for the engineering team.

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