9.13.2013

Outer Space is Ours!




Everyone calls it The Little Old Spacecraft That Could. Voyager 1 launched in 1977 has left the solar system! It's in outer space, between stars, traveling where there's interstellar gas, plasma, dark matter, all sorts of unknown stuff. It's flying where the solar wind can no longer reach it.  It won't come across another star for some 40,000 years...
I love this!

The New York Times is lyrical about it, see here and especially Brooks Barnes' article here.

It's over 11 billion miles from earth or nearly 19 billion kilometers! It left our stellar system a year ago but it's only official now. Cool: this is as important news as the first walk on the Moon. The distance is astonishing,  like traveling to the Moon and back 25,000 times! 

Our understanding of the universe is about to take a quantum leap, and we can expect to get useful information from Voyager 1 at least until 2025...and you know why? Thanks to a retired NASA engineer, Dr. Stone, who was able to expand the capacity of the antiquated computer system the probe is carrying, an no wonder, it's technology dates back three decades, younger engineers didn't know what to do with it...

This is a video done a year ago that is the best I could find, it really explains what this is all about:



I'm so excited! You can see why I love to write science fiction. We live through amazing times...

(Photo source: Voyager 1, Wikipedia)
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