American Spacecraft Nears Edge of Solar System
September 5th, 35 years ago, Voyager 1 blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It’s twin, Voyager 2, launched about two weeks earlier. Both unmanned spacecraft were headed for Saturn and Jupiter. The way the flightpaths were set up, Voyager 1 got there first, even though it launched later. They took measurements and sent back great photos.
Then, with some uncommon good luck, the Voyager 2 spacecraft visited Uranus and Neptune and both headed on out of the solar system, in different directions. This is where things get a little mind-bending.
Right now, Voyager 1 is traveling about 1 million miles per day -11 miles per second.
We get still get data from the instruments, but it takes over 16 hours for the signal to reach us.
Voyager 1 has recorded data that show it is in the “heliosheath.” When it reaches the “heliopause,” the sun will have no influence and it will enter interstellar space. The atomic powerplants should keep the Voyagers alive until about 2025.
Those of us who enjoyed “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” are still waiting for the launch of Voyager 6.