Aliens did NOT hijack NASA’s Voyager II

GeekFury Space 0 Comments

Jeeze people, have you not learned anything from the children’s story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf“? If you cry “Aliens!” every time something unusual happens, after a while, nobody will take you seriously.

Picture of a full-size mockup of a Voyager spa...

Voyager mock-up at JPL open house event in 2007
Image via Wikipedia

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, back in April, Voyager II began sending back some odd data. (see the Official JPL Press Release). Do a quick search on Google for the rather benign “Voyager 2 decode signal” like I did and look at all the alien hype. Come on people, can’t you see this is why the rest of the world doesn’t take you seriously?

Anyone who’s operated a computer should know that computers and electronic equipment don’t always operate as expected. Especially when that equipment is more than 13.7 billion kilometers from home in an environment as cold as space that far from the sun, and you’re bound to have a ‘hiccup’ now and then.

And yet, when there is an anomaly in a mission as complex as the Voyager missions, some folks insist on jumping the gun and immediately start up with the “Aliens! Aliens!” crap. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I don’t accept the possibility of other intelligent life out there, I just like to keep a level head when it comes to this kind of stuff.

And sure enough, a few days ago, NASA reported that all that was wrong was a small memory glitch – a single bit was inverted, that’s it, nothing more. So all that running around hollerin’ that “The aliens are coming! The aliens are coming!” didn’t do anything but make some of ya look foolish and further set back any serious public opinions on extraterrestrial life. And you wonder why no one takes you seriously…

Photo by NASA on The Commons