“Voyager 1 is a space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977. Part of the Voyager program to study the outer Solar System, Voyager 1 launched 16 days after its twin, Voyager 2. Having operated for 40 years and 13 days as of September 18, 2017, the spacecraft still communicates with the Deep Space Network to receive routine commands and return data. At a distance of 139 AU (2.08×1010 km) from the Sun as of July 1, 2017, it is the farthest spacecraft from Earth as well as the farthest man-made object. It is also the most distant object in the solar system whose location is known, even farther than Eris (96 AU) and V774104 (~103 AU).
The probe’s objectives included flybys of Jupiter, Saturn and Saturn’s large moon, Titan. While the spacecraft’s course could have been altered to include a Pluto encounter by forgoing the Titan flyby, exploration of the moon, which was known to have a substantial atmosphere, took priority. It studied the weather, magnetic fields and rings of the two planets and was the first probe to provide detailed images of their moons.
After completing its primary mission with the flyby of Saturn on ...