First Spacecraft To Reach Interstellar Space: Voyager 1 sets world record (PICS & VIDEO)
PASADENA, Calif., USA -- The Voyager 1, built by Nasa and launched in 1977 has spent the last 35 years steadily increasing its distance from Earth, travelling at 10km a second, and is preparing to enter outer space
, setting the world record for the First Spacecraft To Reach Interstellar Space,
according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/. Photo: Some 35 years after leaving Earth, Nasa's Voyager 1 craft is nearing the edge of the solar system and is preparing to enter outer space. Voyager 1 is travelling at about 17 km per second (38,000 mph), and is almost 18 billion km (11 billion miles) from Earth. It will soon become the first and only man-made object to enter interstellar space. Photo: NASA (enlarge photo)
NASA says data from its Voyager 1 spacecraft show the venerable deep-space explorer has nearly reached the edge of the solar system.
The Guinness world record for the Largest space telescope was set by the $2.1-billion NASA Edwin P. Hubble Space Telescope; it weighs 11 tonnes (24,250 lb) and is 13.1 m (43 ft) in overall length, with a 240-cm (94.8-in) reflector. It was was launched into space, at an altitude of 613 km (381 miles), by the US space shuttle Discovery on 24 April 1990.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the Most Distant Image of Earth, set by NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, which turned its camera back towards the Sun and the planets. After 12.5 years in space, travelling away from Earth, Voyager 1's camera took a picture of our home planet from a distance of almost 6.5 billion km 4 billion miles.
The Voyager 1, built by Nasa and launched in 1977 has spent the last 35 years steadily increasing its distance from Earth, and is now now 17970000000km - or 11100000000miles - away, travelling at 10km a second.
Voyager scientists say the spacecraft, launched in 1977, has encountered a region in space where the intensity of charged particles from beyond the solar system has markedly increased, leading to the historic conclusion humanity's first emissary to interstellar space is about to depart the solar system, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., reported.
"The laws of physics say that someday Voyager will become the first human-made object to enter interstellar space but we still do not know exactly when that someday will be," Voyager project scientist Ed Stone said.
"The latest data indicate that we are clearly in a new region where things are changing more quickly. It is very exciting. We are approaching the solar system's frontier." Photo: The domain of the Sun's influence is called the heliosphere: The Voyagers are approaching the edge of this enormous balloon of charged particles thrown out into space by our star. Credit: NASA (enlarge photo)
Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 and its sibling Voyager 2 are in good order. Voyager 1 is 11.1 billion miles from the sun while Voyager 2 is at 9.1 billion miles distance.
"When the Voyagers launched in 1977, the space age was all of 20 years old," Stone said.
"Many of us on the team dreamed of reaching interstellar space, but we really had no way of knowing how long a journey it would be -- or if these two vehicles that we invested so much time and energy in would operate long enough to reach it."