NASA’s Voyager 2 space probe has now become only the second manmade object ever to travel to interstellar space. This is a major milestone, not only for the American aerospace agency but for mankind as a whole. Although no human has ever physically gone past the moon, the very fact that we have managed to send a probe over a distance of more than 11 billion miles, beyond the farthest extremities of the sun’s influence is a testament to our spirit of inquiry and exploration. Launched in 1977, it was part of the Voyager program carried to study outer space and gather relevant data.
For those readers that are unaware, interstellar space is the region of space where the sun’s influence comes to an end. The sun forms a massive bubble in space around itself, called the heliosphere, where its radiation irradiates everything in the bubble. The Voyager 2 probe has now exited the heliosphere and entered what can be officially designated as interstellar space. Another probe, the Voyager 1, part of the same Voyager program, was launched 16 days after its twin and crossed the heliosphere back in 2012.
Both space probes have now been in continuous operation for 41 years and still continue to transmit to this day. The fact that both vessels have been functioning for this long speaks volumes of the skill and dedication of the engineers who built them.