NASA hears signal from Voyager 2 spacecraft after mistakenly cutting contact

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA says it has heard from its Voyager 2 spacecraft after a wrong command cut off communications.

Flight controllers accidentally sent a wrong command nearly two weeks ago that tilted the spacecraft’s antenna away from Earth and severed contact. The space agency said Tuesday a global network of giant antennas picked up a “heartbeat signal,” meaning the 46-year-old craft is alive and operating.

FILE – In this Aug. 4, 1977, photo provided by NASA, the “Sounds of Earth” record is mounted on the Voyager 2 spacecraft in the Safe-1 Building at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. On Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023, NASA’s Deep Space Network sent a command to correct a problem with its antenna. It took more than 18 hours for the signal to reach Voyager 2 _ more than 12 billion miles away _ and another 18 hours to hear back. On Friday, Aug. 4, the spacecraft started returning data again. (AP Photo/NASA, File)

Controllers will now try to turn Voyager 2’s antenna back toward Earth. It’s a long shot and if it doesn’t work, they’ll have to wait until October for an automatic spacecraft reset.

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