Daily Illuminator

September 14, 2012: Voyager Turns 35, Finally Moves Out Of Parents' House

The Voyager 1 spacecraft, originally launched in 1977, is en route to accomplish an original feat -- it's going to be the first man-made object to leave our solar system.

Currently, Voyager 1 is travelling through a plasma bubble at the fringes of interstellar space and will cross over at an undetermined amount of time in the future. But it's close. So close.

Makes the premise of Star Trek: The Motion Picture seem a little more plausible, doesn't it?

(Correction: Technically speaking, Pioneer 10 and 11 passed Pluto before the Voyagers did, making them the first spacecraft to exit the solar system proper. However, Voyager 1 recently passed Pioneer 10 on its way out, and will likely escape the heliosheath first. So the more accurate accolade is that Voyager 1 will be the first man-made object to push beyond the influence of the solar winds. Thanks to Carl Rustenbeck for the correction!)

-- Leonard Balsera


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