Voyager 2 has become the second man-made object to pass the boundary of the solar system and enter interstellar space. It is currently 18 billion km from earth. Its sister ship, Voyager 1 reached this boundary in 2012.
According to NASA scientists, the probe can operate for five to ten more years. It is so far away from earth that commands take about 16 hours to reach it.
Voyager 2 has entered the heliopause, an area where hot solar winds do not exist any more and the sun’s magnetic field ends. Interstellar space is the vast emptiness between star systems.
The spacecraft is better equipped than its predecessor, Voyager 1. It has instruments on board to measure speed , density and temperature of solar winds. Voyager 1 stopped sending back this data decades ago. Voyager 2 also sends other useful information back to scientists on earth.
The Voyager missions, which were launched in the 1970s have become a great success for NASA. Both craft have traveled beyond their projected destinations. The two spacecraft were originally created to study Jupiter and Saturn more closely. Later, it turned out that Uranus and Neptune could also be examined before the probes left the solar system.
Even though their power sources will eventually stop, the Voyager probes will continue to move on to places no man-made object have gone before.
- according to = as said by ..
- beyond = farther than
- boundary = a line where one are ends and another one starts
- command = instruction
- craft = spaceship
- currently = at the moment
- data = information
- decade = ten years
- density = the relationship between how big something is and how it is filled
- equipped = here: it has instruments on board
- emptiness = with nothing in it
- even though = while
- eventually = in the end, finally
- examine = to look closely at something and find out more information about it
- interstellar space = the area between star systems
- launch = send into space
- magnetic field = the area around an object that has magnetic power
- measure = to find out how high, fast etc.. something is
- man-made object = something that is made by people , not by nature
- NASA = the American space agency
- originally = at first
- power source = where the energy to move on comes from
- predecessor = here: the spacecraft that was launched before it
- probe = unmanned spaceship that has instruments on board
- projected destination = the place they were originally planned to go to
- reach = get to; arrive at
- scientist = a person who is trained in science and works in a lab
- solar = from the sun
- solar system = our sun and the planets that move around it
- vast = extremely big