Now Voyager


  • Randy Showstack


Deep in space, more than 20 years after its launch on September 5, 1977, and long after most people have forgotten about it, Voyager I will take over the mantle as the most distant human-made object in the solar system on February 15, according to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Somewhere beyond 10 billion km from Earth, the spacecraft finally will outdistance Pioneer 10.

Voyager I, racing through the solar system at 17.4 km/s, is expected to reach another milestone in about the year 2003, when it passes through the “termination shock” on its way to the heliopause. That invisible boundary separates our solar system from interstellar space and marks the outermost edge of the Sun's magnetic field.