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SCI/TECH: Spacecraft reaches edge of solar system

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posted on May, 30 2005 @ 09:34 AM
The Voyager 1 space probe launched in 1977 is finally leaving the solar system and entering interstellar space, where it will learn firsthand what lies beyond our local neighborhood. The probe is the fastest manmade object in existence, traveling at about 1 million miles per day.
"This is a very exciting time, said Voyager project scientist Edward Stone. "Voyager is beginning to explore the final frontier of the solar system."

Scientists analyzing data from Voyager 1 disagree as to whether the probe has yet crossed over the critical boundary that marks the transition from our solar system into interstellar space. But even dissenters agree that if it has not crossed that boundary, called terminal shock, it is very close.

"We're in the neighborhood. This is sort of a Lewis and Clark space expedition: We're in the foothills, and we'll soon be getting to the mountains, in our view," said Frank McDonald, a research scientist at the University of Maryland.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This is an amazing feat. For the first time we will enter the space between stars. We can only imagine what strange things lie outside of our solar system.

[edit on 30-5-2005 by invader_chris]

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 09:40 AM
An ongoing discussion about this can be found here:

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 10:17 AM
Good article...

It would be great to see what's out there, but it seems due to funding problems Voyager 1 may be terminated this October. I haven't heard anything to the contrary since I read about it a few months back. If anyone has read otherwise, please let me know.

Nasa's twin Voyager probes may have to close down in October to save money, the US space agency has said.

Launched in 1977, Voyagers One and Two are now more than 14 billion and 11 billion km from Earth, respectively.

They are on their final mission to locate the boundary between the Sun's domain and interstellar space.

But the agency's Earth-Sun System division has had to cut its budget for next year from $74m to $53m, meaning that some projects will be abandoned.

Although the Voyager probes are thought to have another 15 years of life left in them, they are very expensive to run, costing Nasa about $4.2m a year for operations and data analysis.

Voyager Probes in Funding Crisis

I guess it just makes you wonder why they would shut it down given the Voyager 1 is on the brink of being somewhere completely uncharted, and it's really a once in a lifetime opportunity. Pulling the plug seems the wrong thing to do, and if it does get terminated, is money the only reason for it?

Anyway, I look forward to hearing more about this.

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 11:06 AM
aah. hmm. voyager will actually continue no matter what happens here on earth. but monitoring the probe can be stopped.

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 11:13 AM
Well, yes, of course. But will it be allowed to continue its scientific journey. Of course it will continue on, but to pull the plug on monitoring.....

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