NASA engineers have developed a new power plan for Voyager 2, the space probe that has been exploring interstellar space since 2018. As Voyager 2 travels further from our solar system, its power supply is gradually depleting, but the new plan aims to extend its lifespan. Launched in 1977, Voyager 2 has been active for over four decades, and its energy reserves are expected to run out eventually. However, the new power plant will utilize a small battery backup function to provide additional energy to some of the probe’s critical instruments, ensuring that it can continue to gather data for at least a few more years. This breakthrough was reported in a recent article on Phys.org.
NASA’s efforts to extend the life of Voyager 2 are critical because every piece of data collected by the probe as it travels deeper into interstellar space is essential in helping researchers understand more about it. As Voyager 1 and 2 are the only probes that have reached this far, the data they collect is invaluable. To achieve this, NASA will use a backup function that was originally designed to stabilize voltages in Voyager 2’s systems. The backup function ensures that the system won’t experience issues if there is a drastic change in voltage. However, Voyager 2’s systems have remained stable for the 45 years it has been in flight. If the new power plan proves successful on Voyager 2, NASA may attempt to implement a similar plan on Voyager 1 to enable it to continue learning more about interstellar space for an even longer period.