Nasa’s Voyager 1 in ‘cosmic purgatory’ on verge of entering Milky Way
The spacecraft is close to leaving the Solar System and into the uncharted territory of the Milky Way after more than three decades in space.
Voyager 1 was launched with its twin, Voyager 2, by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) in 1977.
Voyager 1 is travelling at just under 11 miles per second and sending information from nearly 11 billion miles away from the sun.
It is about to become the first man-made object to leave the Solar System, although Nasa expects it to take between several months and years before it completely enters interstellar space. Voyager 2 will follow later.
Ed Stone, the Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said: “Voyager tells us now that we’re in a stagnation region in the outermost layer of the bubble around our solar system. Voyager is showing that what is outside is pushing back.
“We shouldn’t have long to wait to find out what the space between stars is really like.”
The primary mission for the spacecrafts was the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn.
After uncovering important findings the mission was extended, with the radio contact with mission control lasting longer than had been expected