NASA’s Voyager spacecraft was made in 1975 and has a computer from the “Atari age” to run it. The last man who truly understands how to program it is 80-year-old NASA engineer Larry Zottarelli.
And he’s retiring.
WSBT reports that the current IT department at NASA doesn’t understand the computer as well as Zottarelli.
NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft is 20 billion kilometers away from Earth (in 2013, it became the first man-made object to leave the solar system). The primary mission of Voyager was to explore Jupiter and Saturn, but its mission was extended long beyond its intended purpose.
WSBT states it will be difficult to upgrade the on-board computer.