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NASA turns on thrusters of Voyager 1: Last time they were used, Jimmy Carter was the US President
After a long gap of 37 years, NASA pressed the start button and roaring went the engines of Voyager 1. If this does not sound enough, try to imagine that last time these engines were used, Jimmy Carter was the American President and the floppy disk had just been invented.

Voyager 1, the only man-made object in interstellar space has now been flying for more than 40 years without using its engines. Just in order to orient itself towards planet Earth, so that its antennas are pointed towards Earth, it was dependent on tiny thrusters that last just milliseconds.

But Voyager 1 is not far from its death. Degrading of the thrusters has been noticed since 2014 with more thrusts now required to get the same amount of energy as would earlier come with smaller number of thrusts. Can the Voyager 1 be repaired? Of course yes, only if it was not 13 billion miles away from our planet.

In the last week of November, the engineers at NASA fired up the thrusters to test their ability. The signals took a good time of 19 hours and 35 minutes and the thrusters started, fired a thrust and helped the Voyager to orient itself a little more. NASA is next planning to turn the thrusters on in January. In fact, the results of this experiment have been so well that NASA is thinking of doing something similar with Voyager 2 as well, though Voyager 2 is not yet in a condition where it will need such help.

But despite giving it a new, although, a small lease of life, can the Voyager 1 be still used? Yes, for a couple of years, it can be. But it has already served enough that NASA can think of putting it into deep sleep.

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