Nasa is back in full contact with its lost Voyager 2 probe months earlier than expected, the space agency said.
In July a wrong command was made to the spacecraft, sent to explore space in 1977, changing its position and severing contact.
A signal was picked up on Tuesday but thanks to an “interstellar shout” – a powerful instruction – its antenna is now back facing Earth.
Nasa had originally pinned hopes on the spacecraft resetting itself in October.
It took 37 hours for mission controllers to figure out if the interstellar command had worked as Voyager 2 is billions of miles away from Earth.
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.
After communications were lost, the probe had been unable to receive commands or send back data to Nasa’s Deep Space Network – an array of giant radio antennas across the world.
But the space agency confirmed on 4 August that data had been received from the spacecraft and it was operating normally.