NASA’s Mission Overview for “Voyager- The Interstellar Mission”
The twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are exploring where nothing from Earth has flown before. Continuing on their more-than-35-year journey since their 1977 launches, they each are much farther away from Earth and the sun than Pluto. In August 2012, Voyager 1 made the historic entry into interstellar space, the region between stars, filled with material ejected by the death of nearby stars millions of years ago. Scientists hope to learn more about this region when Voyager 2, in the “heliosheath” — the outermost later of the heliosphere where the solar wind is slowed by the pressure of interstellar medium — also reaches interstellar space. Both spacecraft are still sending scientific information about their surroundings through the Deep Space Network, or DSN.
The primary mission was the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn. After making a string of discoveries there — such as active volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Io and intricacies of Saturn’s rings — the mission was extended. Voyager 2 went on to explore Uranus and Neptune, and is still the only spacecraft to have visited those outer planets. The adventurers’ current mission, the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM), will explore the outermost edge of the Sun’s domain. And beyond.”
The Voyager 1 is currently moving roughly 39,000 miles per hour and the Voyager 2 is moving nearly as fast at 35,000 miles per hour. The two spacecraft are the two furthest objects in history to have traveled from Earth. If you visit this link to http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/ you can see NASA’s live count for how far the two spacecraft are from Earth. Last time I checked Voyager 1 was 19,001,247,837 KM from Earth.
Check Out this Video to hear sounds from space captured by the Voyager 1:
- The sounds of interstellar space (earthsky.org)
- Sounds of Interstellar Space (spacefellowship.com)
- How Voyager Became A Grand Tour (astronaut.com)