This week, the scientists and engineers on the Voyager team did something very special. They commanded the spacecraft to fire a set of four trajectory thrusters for the first time in 37 years to determine their ability to orient the spacecraft using 10-millisecond pulses.
After sending the commands on Tuesday, it took 19 hours and 35 minutes for the signal to reach Voyager. Then, the Earth-bound spacecraft team had to wait another 19 hours and 35 minutes to see if the spacecraft responded. It did. After nearly four decades of dormancy, the Aerojet Rocketdyne manufactured thrusters fired perfectly.
The last time these were used was during the Saturn encounter.
Did they activate those thrusters so that Voyager would miss a certain planet inhabited by some kind of machine society? On the advice of a time traveler from the 23rd century? No doubt it will save many lives in the future.
First spacecraft maneuver outside the solar system, BTW.