he US space research agency Nasa announced early Saturday that it has fully reestablished communication with its Voyager 2 over a week after a wrong command severed contact with the 45-year-old spacecraft.

“Staff used the highest-power transmitter to send a message to the spacecraft and timed it to be sent during the best conditions so the antenna lined up with the command,” Voyager project manager Suzanne Dodd told AFP.

Earlier, Nasa’s outer space probe detected a “heartbeat” signal from Voyager 2, which is currently trekking a billion miles away from Earth.

Nasa said that a signal from Voyager 2 was picked up during a regular scan of the sky, which is a confirmation that the probe is in good health.

Nasa has said that its huge dish in Australia’s capital, Canberra, was trying to catch signals from Voyager 2. It has also been sending correct commands on its way to be picked up, according to Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

“A fuller contact is yet to be established,” it had said.

US space agency Nasa lost contact with its Voyager 2 spacecraft — which is in deep space billions of miles away from Earth — more than a week ago after a wrong command was “inadvertently” sent to the probe, changing the direction of its antenna away from the planet Earth.

According to the space agency, Voyager 2 is being observed and experts are trying to reestablish contact with the craft which is at a distance of more than 12 billion miles.

The antenna was shifted 2% — enough for the communication to be lost with the earth dwellers.

It cannot either receive commands or send back data, Nasa said.

Nasa said Monday that its huge dish antenna in Canberra was on the lookout for any stray signals from Voyager 2, which is more than 19bn km away.

The signal takes more than 18 hours to reach Earth from this far.

The space probe took off from Florida in 1977 to gather information about the outer space of our solar system including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Voyager 2 was sent up weeks ahead of its space twin, Voyager 1. It entered outer space in the solar system in 2018, discovering new moons on Uranus and on Jupiter.

Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory — which manages the program — said that in the weeks to come, the Canberra antenna – part of Nasa’s Deep Space Network – will also bombard Voyager 2’s vicinity with the correct command, in the hope that it hits its mark.

Officials noted that otherwise, Nasa will have to wait until October for an automatic spacecraft reset that should restore communication.

Until then, Nasa expects the probe to “remain on its planned trajectory during the quiet period”.

The space probe Voyager 1 — which is in contact — is nearly 15bn miles (24bn km) away from the Earth, making it humanity’s most distant spacecraft in deep space.

Once both spacecraft run out of power – expected sometime after 2025 – they will continue roaming through space.

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