As the solar winds die down to zero, the spacecraft Voyager leaves the Solar system and becomes the first man made machine to enter interstellar space. This event has happened last June. Or it might happen within four years. Things get sketchy way out there. The folks at the California Institute of Technology have been monitoring Voyager since it’s 1977 launch.
Powered by radioactive fuel,
it’s clipping along at 38,000 mph. Along the way it has performed fly bys of the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Pluto was not on the list as it remains on course for the center of our galaxy. It currently takes signals from the spacecraft 16 hours to reach us here on Earth.
Her sister, Voyager 2 is 2.2 billion miles behind doing a pokey 35,000 mph.
Both space craft are expected to operate for about another 10 or 15 years which is when the fuel runs out. Voyager 2 is currently experiencing garbled transmissions.
Being the ultimate Message in a Bottle, both spacecraft have a gold record (the kind we used to listen to music with) and a written message for whatever finds them.