13 September 2013
NASA confirmed Thursday that its Voyager 1 spacecraft has become the first probe to exit the solar system, an extraordinary achievement that NASA could only dream about when Voyager was launched in 1977. When it left Earth 36 years ago, it was only designed as a four-year mission to Saturn. Voyager 1 can now investigate the unexplored region in between the stars and send back details about conditions there. It takes 17 hours and 22 minutes for Voyager’s signals to reach NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The lonely probe, which reached interstellar space on 25 Aug. 2012, is now 11.7 billion miles from Earth, moving at 38,000 miles per hour, and is expected to keep sending back data until roughly 2025. (Image Credit: NASA)
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