Can you imagine a man-made object is now 19 billion km from the Sun? If we take as the unit of the distance between the Earth and its satellite, the moon is about 400,000 km, the Voyager is about 47,500 times farther.rather
Consider the Earth-Sun distance, 150 million km. The ship is nearly 127 times farther. It thus escapes the attraction which governs the movements of all the bodies in the solar system and entered interstellar space of the Milky Way, our galaxy.
free here to roam to other stars. One of them does the capture? Or does it continue for millennia its unimaginable cruise? Nobody can predict the Earth. This earth that men may feel even more prisoners they just crossed the limit of their kingdom … by proxy.
Artist’s view of the Voyager 1 probe entering interstellar space (NASA / JPL – Caltech)
Voyager mission is rooted in the 1960s. She took the euphoria caused by the success of NASA on the Moon in 1969 and survived the economic crisis of the 1970s. And he probably had to fight hard to convince Congress to spend $ 988 million to launch two probes over 800 kg each for a journey of several decades with the sole aim to go as far as possible.
nevertheless carries 100 kg of scientific equipment. This is Voyager 2 is the first part, on 5 August 1977. Voyager 1 flew on 5 September. Despite their name, the two vessels are quite different and have followed separate paths. But their mission is the same: the heliopause, the boundary of the solar system
This limit is so remote and poorly known that NASA questioned since August 2012 when Voyager has crossed. A article published by Science Magazine September 13, 2013 has decided. It is called “It’s official – Voyager left the solar system” and it is signed by a magazine reporter, Richard Kerr, covering topics on space for … 1977.
analysis of new data received from the sensor that allow researchers led by Don Gurnett of the University of Iowa, to say that the border is crossed after 36 years of journey from planet to planet still further with a smart path to take full advantage of the gravity assist, a source of considerable energy savings for sensors.
“The Voyager team needed time to analyze and interpret observations. But now, we can answer the question that we all ask ourselves: “Are we there Yes, we are,” said Ed Stone, Voyager historic member of the team at Caltech in Pasadena <. / p>
In fact, it is part of the Voyager 1 detected by an increase in pressure of interstellar space on the heliosphere, the bubble of charged particles around the Sun, beyond the planets. Since 2004, scientists have therefore received information can attest to approach or crossing the boundary of the solar system. It took them years to be certain: I must say that everything falls complete unknown in this region
spectacular success of NASA’s good. Its budget has been declining and it has to fall back on more missions in the suburbs of the Earth.
and Reaping the fruits of old investments of nearly 40 years is not the lesser of the original space exploration. A bit like the Opportunity rover on Mars, the Voyager probes have far exceeded their goals. They had run five years, but their battery should not be exhausted by 2020. They flew four planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, and 48 of their moons. Their instruments have collected a wealth of data about the solar system that make the mission one of the most successful in history.
note that probes each carry a hard gold plated copper content with the famous message of humanity to the rest of the universe. One hundred photographs, natural sounds and messages in 55 languages. Just in case …
Joined by Voyager 2 in 3 years, Voyager 1 will continue his incredible journey beyond our imaginations. She finds herself in a much larger than that left space. The closest to Earth, Proxima Centauri star is over 4 light years from the Sun, about 40 000 billion km. At this scale, the 19 billion km already crossed paled.
From 2020, Voyager will be more dead objects abandoned in an infinite space on a human scale. They will operate as asteroids subject to distant stars and other attractions exoplanets. As for us, we will return to Earth, where we are unable to establish a manned mission to Mars, only 200 million miles … 100 times closer to us than is traveling today.M.A.