By today’s standards, the spacecraft’s technology is laughable: it carries an 8-track tape recorder and computers with one-240,000th the memory of a low-end iPhone. When it left Earth 36 years ago, it was designed as a four-year mission to Saturn, and everything after that was gravy.
But Voyager 1 has become — thrillingly — the Little Spacecraft That Could. On Thursday, scientists declared that it had become the first probe to exit the solar system, a breathtaking achievement that NASA could only fantasize about back when Voyager was launched in 1977, the same year “Star Wars” was released.
via “Exiting the Solar System and Fulfilling a Dream” The NY Times
What entirely blows me away is that even at 11.7 billion miles from our planet, it’s transmissions only take 17 hours to reach us.
It certainly gives one a moment’s pause when you realize that mankind is being represented by 8-track tape recorder and a gold, long-play record.