45 years after the flight of Voyager 1, the farthest spacecraft in the universe

Voyager 1  was the first to provide detailed images of Jupiter and Saturn. 


In 2012, it reached interstellar space and is currently the farthest spacecraft in the universe. 

This September 5 marks the 45th anniversary of NASA ‘s launch from Cape Canaveral of Voyager 1 , which in 2012 became the first spacecraft to reach interstellar space.

The first spacecraft capable of diagnosing and solving problems on board, this 722-kilogram robotic probe is still operational today, continuing its extended mission to locate and study the fringes of the solar system, including the Kuiper belt and beyond. , as well as exploring the immediate interstellar space , until its end of mission that is expected to start at the end of this year.

Four decades of science

On August 25, 2012, at 122 astronomical units, the probe left the heliopause behind, being the first to reach interstellar space.

Its original mission was to visit Jupiter and Saturn . It was the first probe to provide detailed satellite images of those planets.

At a current distance of 157 astronomical units from the Sun (almost 14.6 billion km), according to NASA , it is the furthest spacecraft from Earth and the first to leave the Solar System. In December 2018, it was seconded by its sister Voyager 2.

Voyager 1 has about 17,700 years left to exit the Oort cloud, a spherical structure of trans-Neptunian objects about a light-year from the Sun. It will enter it in about 300 years.

An unbeatable record for the moment

Voyager 1 is currently the furthest human-made object from Earth, traveling faster relative to Earth and the Sun than any other space probe. Even though its sister Voyager 2 was launched 16 days earlier, Voyager 2 will never overtake Voyager 1 .

Neither did the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, even though it was launched from Earth at a higher speed than the two Voyagers, since, during the course of its journey, Voyager 1 ‘s speed was increased . due to assisted gravitational pulls. The current speed of New Horizons is greater than that of Voyager 1, but when New Horizons reaches the same distance from the Sun that Voyager 1 is now, the speed will be 13 km/s, unlike Voyager 1 which is 17 km/s,

Voyager 1 is on a hyperbolic trajectory, and has reached escape velocity, meaning its orbit will not return to the inner solar system.

Both Voyager probes have exceeded their originally calculated lifetimes. Each probe gets its electrical power from three RTGs, which are expected to be generating enough power to keep the probes in communication with Earth until at least 2025.

Precisely, last week NASA announced that its engineers had solved the problem that, earlier this year, caused the data of the attitude control system to become unreadable. (With information from Europe Press)