UPDATE: NASA have lost a spacecraft after sending wrong command

UPDATE: NASA have lost a spacecraft after sending wrong command

Scientists have lost contact with the Voyager 2, which has been a part of the longest lived space mission.

NASA have lost contact. with longest-lived space mission Voyager 2

In everyday life, we generally fall for the misconception that if something is bigger, it is easier to find.

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But no matter how massive the spacecraft, if it is lost in space, it's like finding a needle in a haystack.

Another major difference is that a needle tends to be quite inexpensive, whereas an entire NASA-related craft definitely cost's a few Rand.

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Unfortunately, NASA has confirmed that it has lost contact with the Voyager 2 after the antenna that communicates with the spacecraft was shifted a mere 2% by flight controllers. The wrong command was sent a week ago and tilted the antenna away from Earth while the spacecraft is approximately 19-billion km away.

A satellite dish in Canberra, Australia, is currently trying to track the craft, but it might be a while as signals from that far away take at least 18 hours to reach the Earth.

More on this incredible spacecraft that is part of NASA's longest-lived missions:

John Uri, NASA Johnson Space Center, writes in '45 Years Ago: Voyager 2 Begins its Epic Journey to the Outer Planets and Beyond':

"Forty-five years ago, the Voyager 2 spacecraft left Earth to begin an epic journey that continues to this day. The first of a pair of spacecraft, Voyager 2 lifted off on Aug. 20, 1977. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, manages the spacecraft on their missions to explore the outer planets and beyond. Taking advantage of a rare planetary alignment to use the gravity of one planet to redirect the spacecraft to the next, the Voyagers initially targeted only Jupiter and Saturn, but Voyager 2 went on to explore Uranus and Neptune as well. The Voyagers carried sophisticated instruments to conduct their in-depth explorations of the outer planets. Both spacecraft continue to return data as they make their way out of our solar system and enter interstellar space."

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Main image courtesy of NASA

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