2. The spacecraft, which reached the edge of the solar system
Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 traveled past Jupiter and Saturn and is now more than 11.66 billion miles (18.67 billion kilometers) from the sun, becoming the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space. Proof of this long-anticipated milestone for the storied spacecraft comes in a study released Thursday by the journal Science and announced at a celebratory NASA headquarters briefing.
Solar storm aftershocks at the edge of the solar system provide confirmation that the Voyager 1 spacecraft made the passage on August 25, 2012.
On that date, Voyager 1 passed beyond the fringes of the sun’s outward-flowing solar wind and into the interstellar space between the stars. “It is an incredible event, to send the first human object into interstellar space,” says study lead author Donald Gurnett of the University of Iowa in Iowa City. “It’s not quite the moon landing, but we are where the solar wind ends.”