Voyager 1 celebrates 40 years of space travel.
Launched on September 5, 1977, just a few weeks after Voyager 2, Voyager 1 was the first man-made object to be able of leaving our solar system in 2012, being the first to send images of Saturn’s and Jupiter’s moons.
On Sept. 1, Voyager 1 was at 20.87 billion kilometers distance from the Earth (140 AU). Voyager 2, although first launched, is almost 17 billion kilometers from the home planet.
The space probe has a so-called ‘time capsule’
A phonograph disc made of gold-plated copper with a diameter of 30 cm has printed messages and sounds that briefly tell the story of our planet.
The one who set the Gold Disc content was astronomer Carl Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996), helped by his colleagues who have combined 116 images and a variety of natural sounds like waves, wind, thunder, birds , whales, etc. Moreover, charts about our civilization have been added, a selection of 90 minutes of musical masterpieces from different cultures and greetings in 55 languages. More or less inspired, the greeting is uttered by a feminine voice and takes only two seconds: “Greetings to everyone!”
Voyager 1 met Jupiter in March 1979 and Saturn in November 1980. In 2007, the spacecraft won the title of the farthest object built by man. Before the probe reached space, the only known active volcanoes were here on Earth, but then it captured eight volcanoes that erupted on Jupiter’s moon Io.
It is expected that it will reach the next star not earlier than 40,000 years, even though its speed is 45 km/s. Ed Stone, a scientist in the Voyager team since it was begun in 1972, told Space that NASA’s ship is going through the center of our galaxy for the next billions of years, and we will receive interstellar environment information as long as it remains functional.
“Voyager’s mission was to show how diverse the planets, moons, rings and magnetic fields really are. Our terracentric view was much narrower than reality, “added Stone.
Probe 1 also discovered that cosmic radiation is incredibly intense beyond the Sun’s magnetic field. It also told us how solar wind interacts with the sun “winds” of other stars.
Meanwhile, Voyager 2 studies the environment near the edge of the solar system. Once it enters interstellar space, Voyager 2 will make its own measurements, revealing more about this mysterious region.
Not too long ago NASA said that someone hacked Voyager 1. Read here