NASA's Voyager 2 probe experiences communications pause
Voyager 2 was one of two probes launched in the 1970s to explore planets in the outer solar system
NASA's spacecraft Voyager 2 is experiencing an unplanned 'communications pause' and is currently unable to receive commands or transmit data back to Earth.
Voyager 2 was one of two probes launched in the 1970s to explore planets in the outer solar system.
Voyager 1, which is almost 15 billion miles (24 billion kilometres) from Earth, continues to operate normally, NASA said in a statement.
"A series of planned commands sent to NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft inadvertently caused the antenna to point 2 degrees away from Earth. As a result, Voyager 2 is currently unable to receive commands or transmit data back to Earth," the US space agency informed.
This change has interrupted communication between Voyager 2 and the ground antennas of the Deep Space Network (DSN).
Data being sent by the spacecraft is no longer reaching the DSN, and the spacecraft is not receiving commands from ground controllers.
The spacecraft's antenna is no longer pointing towards Earth and NASA hopes it is a temporary problem.
Voyager 2 is programmed to reset its orientation multiple times each year to keep its antenna pointing at Earth and the next reset will occur on October 15, which should enable communication to resume.
"The mission team expects Voyager 2 to remain on its planned trajectory during the quiet period," said NASA.