Voyager 1 and Only

NASA made history on September 12, 2013, when it announced it possessed the data to confirm that its Voyager 1 probe had left the Earth’s heliosphere and entered interstellar space. It is the first manmade object to accomplish that feat. The spacecraft launched aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket on September 5, 1977, (same year the “Star Wars” movie premiered) from Kennedy Space Center and has traveled 36 years and nearly 12 billion miles. Scientists determined it had reached the space between the stars in August 2012, but did not have sufficient data to support the claim.

Just in case … Voyager 1 carries a greeting to any form of life should it be encountered. A phonograph record—a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk, containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth­—carries the message.