NASA’s Voyager 1 Goes Where No Man has Gone Before

by Rachel Baker on September 13, 2013

NASA has officially declared Voyager 1 as having crossed into interstellar space based on plasma and wind data being transmitted back to Earth from the probe.

By today’s standards, the spacecraft’s technology is laughable: it carries an 8-track tape recorder and computers with one-240,000th the memory of a low-end iPhone. When it left Earth 36 years ago, it was designed as a four-year mission to Saturn, and everything after that was gravy.

But Voyager 1 has become — thrillingly — the Little Spacecraft That Could. On Thursday, scientists declared that it had become the first probe to exit the solar system, a breathtaking achievement that NASA could only fantasize about back when Voyager was launched in 1977, the same year “Star Wars” was released.

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