back to article NASA: Humanity has finally reached into INTERSTELLAR SPACE

Data beamed back from the Voyager 1 spacecraft has shown that the probe has left our Solar System and entered interstellar space, becoming the first manmade object to travel beyond mankind's home system. At a press conference on Thursday, NASA engineers said that the probe actually made the leap last year after travelling 12 …

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  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Rukario

      A billion-billionth of a watt... an attowatt?

      1. solidsoup

        The subheading is also erroneous

        Actually, NASA announced that voyager has entered interstellar space. This isn't the same as leaving solar system. So long as Sun's gravity exerts the dominant force on the craft, it will technically be part of the solar system. Voyager has left the heliosphere, which is a bubble of charged particles emanating from the sun. Solar system actually extends as far as outer reaches of the Oort cloud, which may be over a light year away. For a more scientifically accurate take, here is the NASA press release: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-277

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The subheading is also erroneous

          Actually a group of astrophysicists announced that voyager has entered interstellar space. The US dept. of propaganda then publicly pissed at them. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/16/boffins_claim_voyager_has_already_left_the_solar_system/

          Now, a month later, said US dept. of propaganda has heroically popped up to make the glorious announcement itself. The science is all jolly interesting and all but I can't help feeling sad it's soiled by shitty political pissing displays like this.

          1. Joe Gurman

            Re: The subheading is also erroneous

            NASA's p.r. apparatus respects the "embargoes" imposed by stuck-up journals such as Science and Nature: "Thou shalt not release the results [paid for with taxpayer dollars] until our print edition hits the mailroom." It's anachronistic, it's arguably unfair to the taxpayers, but otherwise the fancy journals (beloved of faculty promotion committee coup-counters) won't publish the papers. The paper was probably submitted a couple of months ago.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The subheading is also erroneous

              NASA published its "1. The kids think they've discovered something... 2. All our models know better... 3. WE built, WE control it, WE own it, it's ours, OURS, OURS, mwahaha..." press release on 15th Aug.

              http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/voyager/voyager20130815.html#.Ug2cqGRgaOW

            2. Paul Kinsler

              Re: The subheading is also erroneous

              In my experience, the embargo is really just a handy way of maximizing press impact, rather than some kind of evil plot. I'm not sure there's any likelihood a journal would refuse to publish a "press-worthy" paper just because the authors didn't want to respect an embargo - it'd still be a good paper, and still publishable.

              Remember that this is science news, and is not really all that time sensitive, nor does it matter which day you hear about it. You still get the news (and so not unfair to taxpayers, who aren't denied anything important), just when the science journalists have had a week or so to talk to the authors and get a proper write up done.

              Further, in practical terms, the sanctions for breaking an embargo are most likely as weak as "we wont give you pre-notice again" ... which hardly stops any journalist from reporting on the other 99.99% (or whatever) of science that there is out there. Just (eg) subscribe to some journal (ore arXiv) RSS feeds if you want non-embargoed science.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Trollface

            Re: The subheading is also erroneous

            And...

            In't it spelt spaaace?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The subheading is also erroneous

              "In't it spelt spaaace?"

              Only if it's preceded by "Piiiiigs iiiiiiin".

              Also...

              "In't [sic] it spelt"

              And "in't" *that* ironic.... don't you think? It's like raaaaaiiiiaaaaaain..... on your wedding day.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Never Defy The Rule

                I wouldn't dare defy the rule: every post correcting a spelling or grammar error must contain a spelling or grammar error.

                Other sites might be fairly lax about this, but El Reg? Never!

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. solidsoup

            @mr.K

            Because it's 17 hours. See the common theme now?

      2. Euripides Pants Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: A billion-billionth of a watt... an attowatt?

        More like "watt did you say?"

  2. jake Silver badge
    Pint

    They just don't build 'em like they used to.

    Fly on, Voyager. Bon Voyage.

    A toast to the engineers involved.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: They just don't build 'em like they used to.

      Most of them will have retired by now or be in end of career senior management roles and their work is still out there doing what it's supposed to be doing. That's cool.

      1. The Nazz Silver badge

        Re: They just don't build 'em like they used to.

        Just imagine, if they were musicians or publishers they'd still want paying for every extra mile it travels.

        1. LaeMing Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: They just don't build 'em like they used to.

          "Just imagine, if they were musicians or publishers they'd still want paying for every extra mile it travels."

          But in this case, they might actually deserve it!

      2. btk_

        Re: They just don't build 'em like they used to.

        Kind of strange to think that it launched the year I was born. Every moment of my life that ship has been speeding into space...

        1. Shades
          Thumb Up

          Re: They just don't build 'em like they used to.

          btk_ wrote:

          "Kind of strange to think that it launched the year I was born. Every moment of my life that ship has been speeding into space..."
          It was launched a few months before I was born, is now 12 billion miles from earth and is still more useful than me! :D

          1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: They just don't build 'em like they used to.

            I watched its launch on TV, followed its progress past the planets, had a whole set of NatGeo magazines devoted to Viking, Pioneer, and Voyager probes. Great days, and still these probes carry on. Hats off and raise our glasses to all those people who made this possible

    2. Andrew Newstead

      Re: They just don't build 'em like they used to.

      With respect, they still can build'em. There is a rover on Mars that was supposed to only work for 3 months, it's now in it's twelth year.

      1. MrXavia
        Pint

        Re: They just don't build 'em like they used to.

        When they deal with the unknown they over-engineer and make worst-case guesses on how long it will last.

        We've been very lucky that space exploration has been less hostile to our probes than our worst fears.

        I'm glad I've lived to see a probe enter Interstellar space, I just hope I live long enough to see us start the colonization of our tiny corner of the galaxy.

        I for one will be raising a pint to Voyager 1!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They just don't build 'em like they used to.

        "There is a rover on Mars that was supposed to only work for 3 months, it's now in it's twelth year."

        An achievement indeed. But their predictive skills are out by a factor of almost 50 and counting. Not that I'm complaining about the longevity but presumably the more accurate the prediction the less required over-engineering and thus allowing more science to be carried out for the same cost. But we live and learn, hopefully.

  3. Roger Stenning

    And in a little while...

    ...the signals will abruptly stop, as it dives into a wormhole, and eventually becomes Vejur...

    ...or not.

    Well, one lives in hope of something interesting and out of the ordinary happening, anyhow.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And in a little while...

      The signal will stop when it crashes into the crystal sphere ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And in a little while...

      Mmm - Ilia...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And in a little while...

      No, the NASA engineers watched ST:TMP and decided it wasn't worth the risk going to Voyager 6 and canceled the missions...

  4. solidsoup

    Amazing

    Voyagers are a marvel of engineering. I doubt there are any space-related projects today that will not only be around in 36 years, but perform go above and beyond what they were designed to do. ISS, for instance, was just recently completed, has been glitchy all throughout and will be de-orbited in just 7 years.

    If there's anything that the latest NSA saga shows, it is that US is still capable of grandiose and audacious projects. It just would've been nice to have that spirit applied towards something constructive that advances our civilization and unites people of the world in being proud of human achievement (rather than uniting them in disliking US).

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Amazing

      First (and only) British launched satellite which is even older, might still be alive, but didn't go quite so far away. It may have travelled further but my calculator is broken and ICBA to work it out :-)

  5. Don Jefe

    Future Past

    It is pretty cool that thing is out there just sailing happily along. Designed and with 'rudimentary' computers, made with 'primitive' hardware and assembled by blue collar machinists.

    It is easy to get caught up in the whole 'the future is tomorrow' idea but forget that the future already happened and all we've done is made incremental additions to it. Big ideas aren't popular anymore and it is sad. In todays climate NASA would be laughed out of the Capitol Building if they said they wanted to launch a probe into the void just for the hell of it.

    People can no longer wrap their minds around the intrinsic value of doing something just because they can. Everything must have a purpose and that purpose is too often tied solely to either making more money or destroying something. Those things are old hat and have proven highly overrated. If we continue on this path we will have successfully mastered time travel, but with a portal only goes backwards and doesn't provide a way to return.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: Future Past

      "Big ideas aren't popular anymore and it is sad. In todays climate NASA would be laughed out of the Capitol Building if they said they wanted to launch a probe into the void just for the hell of it."

      Well actually it has..

      New Horizons will reach Pluto in July 2015, about 10 years after it's launch.

      What has changed is opportunity for "Grand Tour" missions (which originally were meant to do all 4 gas giants, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, in 1 go) comes along about ever 100-120 years (and Voyager was still split in 2 parts due to funding and missing the exact launch window back then).

      The other thing is the hostility to using RTG's for the power source (and the fact NASA is having real trouble getting any more Pu238 made).

      I'd also note that ISS started construction started construction in 1998 with the Zaryla module and will likely be extended past 2028, IE 30 years+.

    2. Jaybus

      Re: Future Past

      It is not a technical or economic issue, but rather a political issue. Deep space probes are difficult to get funded because they require a RTG generator. It is not politically correct to allow the launch of a space probe containing plutonium-238, no matter how small an amount.

    3. Vic

      Re: Future Past

      > too often tied solely to either making more money or destroying something

      You say that as if those goals were different...

      Vic.

  6. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    makes it tricky to get good data back from the old fellow

    old girl, surely?

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: makes it tricky to get good data back from the old fellow

      Eh, just an update on this. I decided to get a second opinion on whether vehicles should be male or female. I asked the wisest guy I know---my karate instructor. I asked him if my car was male or female. Definitely female, he said. Why? "Because each Nissan, she go!"

      1. Steve Knox Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: makes it tricky to get good data back from the old fellow

        Ah but can you consider the Voyagers vehicles? They have no passengers, so they're more correctly classified as probes. And which gender is responsible for the majority of probing that goes on?

        1. Don Jefe
          Joke

          Re: makes it tricky to get good data back from the old fellow

          The gender of the probes is a really great question!

          At first I thought male for sure because you never see female hermits and females aren't nearly as likely to just wander off to see what's over 'there'. Then I realized it had been talking non-stop for 36 years so I had to go with female.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: makes it tricky to get good data back from the old fellow

            >"...because you never see female hermits..."

            Uh... ain't that somewhat self-fulfilling? Hermits being, er... hermits, and all?

            She probably thinks she's been quietly chattering to a couple of dozen space cats for the last 36 years and doesn't even know we're listening.

        2. Vic

          Re: makes it tricky to get good data back from the old fellow

          > Ah but can you consider the Voyagers vehicles?

          Yes.

          > They have no passengers

          Doesn't matter. They carry stuff. That's what "vehicle" means - from the latin verb veho.

          Vic.

  7. Grikath Silver badge
    Pint

    just...

    this...

    1. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: just...

      I wondered what you were referring to based on that comment until I saw the beer icon. It reminded me of a translation of a Samuel Beckett poem. It's not anywhere near as smooth as the original French but it still seems oddly apropos:

      just think if all this

      one day all this

      one fine day

      just think

      if one day

      one fine day

      all this

      stopped

      just think

  8. ian 22

    Roll on...

    Voyager plays among the stars forever more. Hopefully we'll meet again some sunny day.

    1. Martin Budden

      Re: Roll on...

      Yes!

      ...which sun?

      1. ian 22

        Re: Roll on...

        Don't know where,don't know when, / But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.

    2. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Roll on...

      If Gene Roddenberry has anything to say, It'll be back in 250 years or so, looking for it's creator. I guess Voyager 2 will come back looking for whales....

  9. PhilipN Silver badge

    FFFFf….

    ..uckin' A!!!!

  10. JimC Silver badge
    Pint

    Boys are back...

    According to one report I saw they got one of the old team, in his 70s, back in from retirement to help reconfigure an on board tape system to get the extra data. Here's to the team!

  11. Kharkov
    Joke

    Well, the 'fellow' is way past its bedtime...

    What? It's been out there for thirty-something years? AND it's not saying much anymore?

    Well, it'd better come back soon or else Daddy will have to go out and bring the 'fellow' back.

    And there'll be no dessert after supper...

  12. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    She goes, she goes,

    ...she just goes!

  13. JCitizen
    Coat

    Not impressed...

    wake me up when it passes the Oort Cloud... Oh wait! I'll be long gone by then! :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wake me up when it passes the Oort Cloud

      ... and anyway, I think you'll find a Mr T. Pott will try to make damn sure it doesn't go into (or through) any Clouds without properly compatible data protection laws :-)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: wake me up when it passes the Oort Cloud

        "properly compatible data protection laws"

        Good point. Voyager contains "personal" information, ie the address of the human race. And they just sent it off into space without any kind of encryption or protection. Bastards. Fine them!

  14. borkbork
    Facepalm

    Doing really well according to the news bulletin I just heard on the radio

    They said it had left the galaxy. And that its onboard computer was less powerful than an iphone! Wonder which model they meant?

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Doing really well according to the news bulletin I just heard on the radio

      "They said it had left the galaxy. And that its onboard computer was less powerful than an iphone! Wonder which model they meant?"

      Any of them

      I re-checked it's processor details. It is indeed a 16 bit unit that processes in 4 bit chunk through some CMOS chips (I think there's an equivalent to the LS183 ALU in the CMOS range)

      Actual speed is about 80 kips, or about 2.5x faster than a pocket calculator.

      1. Don Jefe
        Happy

        Re: Doing really well according to the news bulletin I just heard on the radio

        Indeed, there's no way such limited computing power could handle the warp calculations necessary to have taken it out of the galaxy.

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          IT Angle

          Re: Doing really well according to the news bulletin I just heard on the radio

          "Indeed, there's no way such limited computing power could handle the warp calculations necessary to have taken it out of the galaxy."

          No.

          They did manage to shoehorn in a compression algorithm that cut data volumes by a bit over 4 bits per pixel by just sending the differences between them on a line. Handy for an 800x800 image. I imaging the reversible digital tape recorder had a lot to do with this as I'm not sure if their main memory could even hold one of them. DMA is very handy if you can write the processor instruction set.

          1. Don Jefe
            Happy

            Re: Doing really well according to the news bulletin I just heard on the radio

            I think there's a lot those guys did that could be applied, in principal at least, to software today. They were just so incredibly efficient at it.

            Granted, being able to correct errors on the fly, as it were, is a great improvement but the error rates themselves are way up compared to what they pulled off 30+ years ago with 13" monochrome text development machines and thousands of printed tractor fed pages of code as their collaborative store and backups. They've got a lot to be proud of!

            Even if they can't get out of the galaxy yet :)

    2. MajorTom

      Re: Doing really well according to the news bulletin I just heard on the radio

      >>They said it had left the galaxy.

      I just can't stop chuckling at that.

      >> Actual speed is about 80 kips, or about 2.5x faster than a pocket calculator.

      If it left the galaxy, then its actual speed is in excess of Warp 6.

    3. Gannon (J.) Dick

      Re: Doing really well according to the news bulletin I just heard on the radio

      In fairness, the onboard computer wasn't going to be taking any fingerprints ...

  15. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Pint

    So the next news item will be...

    Voyager has reached the influence of another star.

    I wonder if I can live that long?

    A pint for the guys that built it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So the next news item will be...

      Looks like it'll take well over a thousand years to even reach the edge of the Oort cloud, which is within the Sun's sphere of influence still.. Assuming improvements in medical technology let you live that long, you're more likely to see purpose built interstellar probes overtake it than see Voyager get that far.

      Space, as they say, is big. Really big.

    2. Stratman
      Pint

      Re: So the next news item will be...

      "Voyager has reached the influence of another star.

      I wonder if I can live that long?"

      It'll come within around 1.6 light years of Gliese 445 in about 40,000 years.

      Better order another pint.

  16. frank ly Silver badge

    re. "... beyond the black"

    I think that should be 'to/into the black'. (Firefly reference.)

  17. Joe Gurman

    This will likely not be a unique event

    The heliosphere "breathes;" that is, its extent varies in size with the pressure exerted by the solar wind, which varies over the roughly 11-eyar solar activity cycle. The boundary could conceivably catch up with Voyager again.

    1. Trygve Henriksen

      Re: This will likely not be a unique event

      Which would mean they'd get more data samples on the same phenomena.

      More data without spending cash on new equipment, got to love that. ;-)

  18. pierce
    Boffin

    its been flying since 1977, thats what, 45 years? its now 17 light-hours away. the nearest star is about 40000 light-hours away. It might reach Alpha Centauri in 100,000 years.

    we are so insignificant.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Woah there Sonny-boy I was born in '72, and I 'ave ya know that I'm only 40 Years Old... (for now!)

      If this is the kind of Maths they teach these days then Zarquan help us!!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. pierce

    oops, 36 years. got ahead of myself.

    ok, 85000 years to get to Alpha Cen.

    1. Blofeld's Cat
      Pint

      Bring your towel...

      "ok, 85000 years to get to Alpha Cen."

      Sorry, I'm not going to Alpha Centauri, but I can drop you off 1.6 lightyears from Gliese 445 in about 40,000 years.

      You can get an express bus from there...

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Bring your towel...

        You can get an express bus from there...

        You obviously do not live in the UK!

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    Joke

    ...what life is like beyond the black.

    I guess there won't be much life, for light years to come...

  21. a_mu

    fantastic engineering

    Amazing,

    it would have taken 10 years to design , so thats technology from almost 50 years ago .

    I bet many of the managers get congratulated on this,

    but the real engineers, Nahh,

    Well done , compare to current designs that have a life measured in 10's of months not 10's of years.

    I can imagine the management response," Hay you over engineered it, you should have saved cost / weight",

    god bless the guys, with their slide rulers and pen protectors in their shit pocket,

    they will all dead now, as they smoked 100 a day, and worked 100 hour weeks,

    but I'm envious.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: fantastic engineering

      I'm going to assume you mean shirt pocket.

      I do envy those who had the chance to work at the forefront of science, computing and space exploration, and did a bloody good job of it.

      Beer to them.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: but the real engineers, Nahh,

      Back then, NASA was ONLY engineers.

      Even the managers.

      I'm pretty sure everybody got their pat on the back. At least, I hope so.

      1. Don Jefe
        Happy

        Re: but the real engineers, Nahh,

        Only Engineers and Machinists. Real deal, highly skilled blue collar tradesmen. No CNC or (very) functional CAD. No laser measurment or automated Interferometric Comparison for optical flats. Just Jo Blocks, micrometers and dial calipers. Blueprints (that were actually blue) and Dykem stained fingers.

        There are still some out there but they're a dying breed. We have fairly impressive array of machinists here but it is harder and harder to find the manual precision machinist. The move toward more standardized catalog parts (even for spacecraft) and continuing improvements in CNC are seeing them be slowly phased out in favor of 'nerd' machinists who are better coders than they are craftsmen (no offense CNC guys in the back). Machines still can't match their precision, but getting clients to pay for two or three solid days of highly skilled labor for a single component are rarer these days.

        CAD and complex simulation models have also done a lot to move away from high precision parts. The simulations are accurate enough now to build to lower tolerances as you can validate the entire system or subsystem design before the build. That gets into the whole craftsmanship of certainty vs craftsmanship of risk debate which is a weird place. Asking two craftsmen to define craftsmanship is far more dangerous than a political or religious debate :)

  22. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Unhappy

    25 august 2012

    From the NASA website: The new plasma data suggested a timeframe consistent with abrupt, durable changes in the density of energetic particles that were first detected on Aug. 25, 2012.

    The day Neil Armstrong died.

    1. Steven 1
      Pint

      Re: 25 august 2012

      That's a truly incredible coincidence and yet seemingly very appropriate.

      Raise a beer tonight to both Neil and Voyager.

  23. Robert Forsyth

    How far away is it?

    Is the 17 hours for the radio signal (18E12 metres away) to get here or for the press release to be published?

    ;-)

    If they sent up a series of radio signal relay/booster satellites, with additional instruments, every few years, they might have a chain from the far reaches.

    1. squigbobble

      Re: How far away is it?

      They would require huge antennas and a fair bit of leccy for the amplification and signal generation. Inflatable antennas or a huge ribbon aerial might do the trick.

      Provided they're robust enough, plasma drive cubesats (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/15/cubesats_to_go_interplanetary_with_tiny_ion_drives/) would be a good fit for a rudimentary mission to probe the shape of the heliosheath. Launch a flock of them atop a relatively small rocket and have them slingshot around the moon (for the orbital inclination change) to go off in different directions so you get data from several positions in addition to the 2 datapoints that we currently have from the Voyagers. The size of them allows you to cover a large spread with only one launch.

  24. Robert Forsyth

    Surely, ...INTERSTELLAR SPAAACE

    to keep the recent theme

  25. David Pollard

    How strong is the wind?

    In the region of the 'bow wave' there is a momentum interchange between the interstellar wind and the heliosphere. Presumably a large proportion of the resulting force is transferred to the sun via its magnetic field. Now that the extent of the heliosphere has been determined, and the strength of the interstellar wind measured, it must be possible to estimate this force.

    Does anyone know how strong this force is and how it compares with gravitational attraction towards the centre of the galaxy?

    1. rurwin

      Re: How strong is the wind?

      Don't forget that the sun is orbiting the centre of the galaxy, taking around 200 million years to go around. There wont be a resultant force in that direction.

      The force exerted by the solar wind is well known, as is the light pressure. But both of them reduce with the inverse square, so they'll be tiny out where Voyager is, and negligible at the centre of the galaxy.

      But the force of the solar wind is not at issue. The issue would be how much force resulted on the sun due to it flinging out that mass and sunlight, and the answer is zero. It flings it out equally in all directions at once, so the resultant force is zero.

      So in answer to your question, the force due to the solar wind and the gravitational attraction towards the centre of the galaxy, do indeed exactly match each other, since they are both zero.

  26. PSC888
    Happy

    Congraulations to Voyage 1

    Here wishing you a safe journey and a fantastic time on the all the adventures that lay ahead of you. Don't forget to send a "postcard" home every now and then to let us know how you are getting on.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "becoming the first manmade object to travel beyond mankind's home system"

    Only in this lifetime of our planet, who knws how many lifeforms have come and gone before us, that may have travelled far and wide, bringing some of the rare metals back that we now use.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "becoming the first manmade object to travel beyond mankind's home system"

      Hmmm. Did they grind up these rare metals and hide them inside bits of rock so as not to give the game away?

    2. Don Jefe

      Re: "becoming the first manmade object to travel beyond mankind's home system"

      Even assuming other life forms had come and gone, they still wouldn't be "Man". They'd be Betelgeuseians, or something. Mankind gets, and deserves, all the credit for this accomplishment.

  28. Bunbury
    Headmaster

    in material that is not from the medium in which it finds itself

    Is this what is known as "so happy he babbled incomprehensibly"?

  29. darklord

    anyone remember the star trek thingy

    where they encountered voyager 1. I remeber its launch etc and i was 9 then. I remeber them showing the disc and all that stuff to try and tell however finds it where it came from.

  30. 8Ace

    Carl Sagan will be chuffed

    I still remember his RI Christmas lectures in 1977. Voyager had been lauched a few months earlier and featured quite a bit in those lectures.

    1. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Carl Sagan will be chuffed

      *would have been* chuffed.

      Shame he never lived long enough to see this.

  31. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
  32. Jacksonville

    WTG V'ger...

    But haven't we been here before?

    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/voyager_1.png

  33. Nigel 11

    Is it still inexplicably veering off course?

    I remember reports that it wasn't quite where Newtonian/ Einsteinian gravity says it should be. There were various explanations mooted other than new physics, but they seemed a bit strained. The longer it carries on diverging from its Newtonian trajectory, the more strained the other explanations become.

    It's a *very* small deviation. But if it's real, Voyager may yet become most famous as first evidence of some new physics.

  34. SirDigalot

    did they point it anywhere in particular?

    because in a few hundred thousand years it would be really embarrassing if a war was started with an (ex) friendly alien race because a mildly radioactive lump of metal landed on them, with directions to where it came from.

    I am sure the then PM or president of earth will try to deny it of course...

    1. Don Jefe
      Happy

      Re: did they point it anywhere in particular?

      "...due to a tragic miscalculation of scale, the entire battlefleet was swallowed by a small dog."

  35. Garibaldi
    Thumb Up

    American are good at engineering

    To voyager: May God be between you and harm in all the empty places you walk.

    I really wish that that 6 trillion lost in Afghan/Iraq war would've been spent on scientific exploration and outter colonization. I will drink to her journey cheers!!!

  36. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    If Voyager 1 was named Elvis...

    one could say "Elvis has left the Solar System"

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