Words by Tess Becker
NASA recently made headlines when they lost contact with the Voyager 2 spacecraft because of a programming error on Earth. The Voyager 2 is the planet’s second-ever spacecraft to enter interstellar space so there was disappointment at the loss.
But a last-ditch effort to make contact with the spacecraft was successful. NASA said it resumed full communications with the Voyager 2 after almost two weeks of silence from the interstellar spacecraft.
A Deep Space Network facility in Australia then sent “the equivalent of an interstellar 'shout'” to the Voyager 2 telling it to turn its antenna back toward Earth. The signal was sent more than 12.3 billion miles away and it took 37 hours to get a response from the spacecraft, NASA said.
Voyager 2 entered interstellar space in November 2018, more than 40 years since it launched. To this day, Voyager 2 remains one of only two human-made objects to ever operate outside the heliosphere, which NASA defines as “the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields generated by the Sun.”
Voyager 2 is also carrying what is essentially a message in a bottle. Should it find itself as the subject of another world's discovery it holds a golden record containing a variety of natural sounds, greetings in 55 languages, and a 90-minute selection of music.
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
Global Innovation Fund. An organization distributing grants to socially beneficial initiatives around the world. Find out more.
Pears Foundation. This organization runs a project dedicated to innovation. Discover their work.
Information Technology & Innovation Fund. They fund projects developing high-tech solutions to some of humanity's biggest challenges. Explore their projects.