Exploring Space With Voyager 1

When we think about the rockets and satellites we send into space, we often think about their journey through the universe and relish in the information they send back to Earth. But that's just it: What if they don't return home? What if its mission is to explore the area beyond space, a process that could take more than 30,000 years? It may sound farfetched, but that's exactly the position spacecraft Voyager 1 finds itself in more than 35 years after its launch. Since it launched in 1977, Voyager has traveled more than 11 billion miles at 39,000 miles-per-hour all while capturing and then relaying data back to NASA far below. Initially designed and implemented as part of a relatively short-term, simplistic mission, by September 2013, it was confirmed the spacecraft had successfully exited our solar system.

But what exactly lies beyond the bounds of space, and what are those bounds, anyway? Researchers estimate it will take about 300 years for Voyager to reach Oort Cloud, a cluster of icy spheres about 50,000 units of astronomical space from the Earth's Sun. From there, it could take another 30,000 years before it re-emerges. Check out this amazing footage, and learn about Voyager's launch and mission straight from NASA itself.

Written by Curiosity Staff December 12, 2014

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