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NASA's far-flung Voyager 1 spacecraft has taken its backup thrusters out of mothballs.
Voyager 1 hadn't used its four "trajectory correction maneuver" (TCM) thrusters since November 1980, during the spacecraft's last planetary flyby — an epic encounter with Saturn. But mission team members fired them up again Tuesday (Nov. 28), to see whether the TCM thrusters were still ready for primetime.
The little engines passed the test with flying colors, NASA officials said.
"The Voyager team got more excited each time with each milestone in the thruster test," Todd Barber, a propulsion engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said in a statement. "The mood was one of relief, joy and incredulity after witnessing these well-rested thrusters pick up the baton as if no time had passed at all."
Hot and dry summer weather is expected to persist in the western U.S. this week, perpetuating the wildfire threat and risk of heat-related illness.
In the wake of showers and thunderstorms that will enhance the risk of flash flooding, cooler air will invade the northeastern United States by midweek.
Beryl has redeveloped well off the coast of the mid-Atlantic, but is not expected to have major impacts on land.
While the southeastern U.S. is no stranger to humid, stormy conditions, widespread wet weather will be more disruptive than usual this week.
In the aftermath of the disastrous and historic flooding across western Japan, survivors and recovery crews will continue to face sweltering heat and humidity.
In the United States, more people have died from being left in hot cars than from lightning strikes so far this year.
A mudslide and a freight train derailment led to the closure of U.S. 95 near the Nevada-California state line on Friday.
Two people, a 17-year-old boy and a 30-year-old man, were hospitalized after being bitten by sharks in Fernandina Beach, Florida, on Friday afternoon.