“Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been.” — Truckin’
Thrown free of Earth 40 years ago, these two Voyagers will outlast us, our silly and desperate politics, our children, and our children’s children down the ages; will outlast our nation, our species, perhaps our planet and our sun…. and still be going strong and still be only beginning their voyage….
The waterless waves on that sea without ships
Go outward, roll onward in search of horizons.
The faces in stone keep their futile appointments
With wind and with water, which also have schedules,
That return them to silence in a melding of stars
Here where the tree’s roots drink from the stream,
Here on the banks of tomorrow as the mind’s searching message,
Laden with numbers, with dates, and with data,
Rises up and flies out past the sun to the birth of the stars.
And even at the very beginning of their voyage they revealed to us things never seen before:
“This picture of a crescent-shaped Earth and Moon — the first of its kind ever taken by a spacecraft — was recorded Sept. 18, 1977, by NASA’s Voyager 1 when it was 7.25 million miles (11.66 million kilometers) from Earth.
The Moon is at the top of the picture and beyond the Earth as viewed by Voyager. In the picture are eastern Asia, the western Pacific Ocean and part of the Arctic. Voyager 1 was directly above Mt. Everest (on the night side of the planet at 25 degrees north latitude) when the picture was taken. The photo was made from three images taken through color filters, then processed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Image Processing Lab. Because the Earth is many times brighter than the Moon, the Moon was artificially brightened by a factor of three relative to the Earth by computer enhancement so that both bodies would show clearly in the print.” — NASA
In+ July of 2014, Voyager cleared the heliosphere and entered interstellar space, making it the first artificial object from Earth to do so. Interstellar plasma and dust will be studied until the mission’s end in 2025.
Wait for it…..