Way out in interstellar space, humanity’s most distant messenger wanders through the universe. NASA’s Voyager 1 launched way back in 1977, but it’s still in touch with Earth. To help keep it in contact, NASA scientists just fired up a set of thrusters that have been dormant for 37 long years.
Voyager 1 had been using a set of “attitude control thrusters” to point the spacecraft’s antenna at Earth in order to send back data. Those thrusters aren’t functioning well anymore, so NASA engineers figured out how to revive a different set of thrusters called “trajectory correction maneuver” (TCM) thrusters. NASA last called on those thrusters in late 1980.