Several months after a grave computer problem seemed to spell the end for Voyager 1, which for nearly a half century had provided data on the outer planets and the far reaches of the solar system, NASA announced on Thursday that it had restored the spacecraft to working order.

“The spacecraft has resumed gathering information about interstellar space,” NASA said in its announcement about Voyager 1, the farthest man-made object in space.

Since the problem surfaced in November, engineers had been working to diagnose and resolve the issue, a tedious and lengthy process complicated by the fact that it takes almost two days to send and receive information from Voyager 1, which was the first man-made object ever to enter interstellar space and is currently more than 15 billion miles from Earth.

The space community had been holding its breath since last year as the prospect of fixing the aging probe appeared as dire as ever.

In February, Suzanne Dodd, the Voyager mission project manager, said the problem, which hindered Voyager 1’s ability to send coherent engineering and science data back to Earth, was “the most serious issue” the probe had faced since she began leading the mission in 2010.

Voyager 1 and its twin probe, Voyager 2, were launched in 1977 on a mission to explore the outer planets. NASA capitalized on a rare alignment in the solar system that enabled the probes to visit the four outer planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — by using the gravity of each to swing to the next.

Its planetary mission a success, Voyager 1 continued its journey toward the edge of the solar system, and in 1990 it snapped a fabled photo of the Earth — a tiny speck in an infinite darkness that became known as the “pale blue dot.”

In 2012, the probe became the first to cross into interstellar space and had since, along with its twin, which followed six years later, collected data about the heliosphere, the space around the sun directly under the sun’s influence.

Perhaps as profound as the pale blue dot, each spacecraft is equipped with a golden phonograph record loaded with sound recordings and images showing humanity and life on Earth, begging to one day be discovered by another civilization.

The outlook for recovering Voyager 1 improved substantially in April, when NASA reported that it had managed to get the probe to send back “usable” data about its engineering systems and its health. That was followed by news late last month that the team had restored functionality to two of Voyager 1’s science instruments, allowing it to send back science data and continue its mission.

On Thursday, the agency announced that it had brought the remaining instruments back online and restored Voyager 1 to its normal operations.

Still, Voyager 1’s new lease on life may not last very long. NASA has previously estimated that the nuclear-powered generators on Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were likely to die around 2025. But Voyager 1 has already demonstrated that it can beat the odds. Ms. Dodd hopes both Voyager spacecraft can reach the mission’s 50th anniversary in 2027.



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