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Space & Astronomy

Voyager 1 has now left the solar system

September 13, 2013 | Comment icon 35 comments



Voyager has been traveling for 36 years. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has become the first ever man-made object to reach interstellar space.
When it launched back in 1977, few would have predicted that Voyager 1 would still be going strong after 36 years of traveling through space.

Now after a journey that has taken it further than any other man-made object in history, the aged spacecraft has officially left the solar system entirely at a distance of 12 billion miles from the sun and is now traveling through the interstellar void.
One of the greatest difficulties scientists have faced is determining exactly where the solar system ends and interstellar space begins. For the last year, the spacecraft had been traversing a region of ionized gas which borders the extent of the sun's influence. Scientists had been carefully monitoring its progress to ascertain when its journey had taken it beyond this transitional region.

"The teamís hard work to build durable spacecraft and carefully manage the Voyager spacecraft's limited resources paid off in another first for NASA and humanity," said Voyager project manager Suzanne Dodd. "We expect the fields and particles science instruments on Voyager will continue to send back data through at least 2020. We can't wait to see what the Voyager instruments show us next about deep space."

Source: NASA | Comments (35)



Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #26 Posted by bigjonalien 8 years ago
I'm stuck in a time loop this happened a few years ago.its happened again.? and wat do they mean by man made as too?
Comment icon #27 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
I'm stuck in a time loop this happened a few years ago.its happened again.? No, there were some claims, later discounted that Voyager 1 had left the solar system. and wat do they mean by man made as too? What part of "man made" are you having trouble with? It means exactly what it says, made by man (humans).
Comment icon #28 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
Voyage of DiscoveryTake a virtual ride with Voyager 1 and 2 past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.Credit: NASA/JPLSource: NASA/JPL - Videos
Comment icon #29 Posted by moonshadow60 8 years ago
And then it heard a loud voice from outside our universe, singing a very loud song. Did you hear that on the news last night? It was wonderful. The sound of interstellar space. Maybe someday my spirit will soar there and hear it, if spirits can hear.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
A little off-topic but took my 7 year old to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum last weekend so he could get a look at the Voyager Development Test Model hanging from the ceiling. His interest has been piqued with all the news about the craft leaving the solar system and being able to see a "real voyager" was a great learning experience.
Comment icon #31 Posted by Somethings Not Right 8 years ago
I know Chuck Berry had a recording on the "golden record" but I don't believe Elvis did, which is too bad because you could've said, "Elvis has left the Solar System!" Anyway, hope the data keeps coming in for as long as the power lasts. Maybe someday someone, something will reprogram it like on Startrek.. That'd be cool!
Comment icon #32 Posted by Somethings Not Right 8 years ago
Voyager 1 and its camera: "Voyager 1 took its last image (the "Solar System Family Portrait" in 1990), the cameras were turned off to save power and memory for the instruments expected to detect the new charged particle environment of interstellar space. Mission managers removed the software from both spacecraft that controls the camera. The computers on the ground that understand the software and analyze the images do not exist anymore. The cameras and their heaters have also been exposed for years to the very cold conditions at the deep reaches of our solar system. Even if mission managers r... [More]
Comment icon #33 Posted by Somethings Not Right 8 years ago
And then it heard a loud voice from outside our universe, singing a very loud song. Did you hear that on the news last night? It was wonderful. The sound of interstellar space. Maybe someday my spirit will soar there and hear it, if spirits can hear. Or travel fast enough!!Very thought provoking though?
Comment icon #34 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
It'll probably outlive Humanity.. It won't work, but it'll probably go on forever! Which is a mad thought!! Imagine.. there could be lots of 'Voyager's' out there' sent from different planets from different parts of the Universe at different times by Aliens? So cool that I have had similar thoughts and my young son said the same thing (other planets in the Goldilocks zone sending Voyagers) after spending a lot of time watching videos and visiting the space centers.
Comment icon #35 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
Or travel fast enough!! Very thought provoking though? Compared to what we know now and where our tech is, 100 years ago we would be crazy science fiction. I flew faster than the speed of sound almost daily for a few years in the 80's and I got to meet the guys that lost friends learning how to do it. Awe inspiring to grow up during transitions and meet the pioneers.


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