Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September 5

On September 5, 1977, NASA launched the Voyager 1 spacecraft to study the outer Solar System and interstellar medium. As of today it has operated for 35 years and is the farthest manmade object from Earth; it still receives commands and transmits data. Voyager 1 is now passing through the outermost layer of the heliosphere and may soon enter interstellar space, thus becoming the first man-made object to leave our Solar System. Pictured: cover of Voyager Golden Records, a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk (with explanatory diagram) containing sounds and images selected to communicate Earth’s diversity of life and culture to extraterrestrials. (Caveat: The nearest star on Voyager 1's trajectory could be reached in 40,000 years.)

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