Spacecraft enters 'cosmic purgatory'
This illustration shows Voyager inside the stagnation region, and the distance of that region from the sun.
December 6th, 2011
04:15 PM ET

Spacecraft enters 'cosmic purgatory'

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is 11 billion miles from our sun and has entered a region NASA is describing as a "cosmic purgatory," a part of space where there is very little solar wind.

The latest data, transmitted to Earth by NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN), show that Voyager 1 has entered a new region of space referred to as the "stagnation region."

"We've been using the flow of energetic charged particles at Voyager 1 as a kind of wind sock to estimate the solar wind velocity. We've found that the wind speeds are low in this region and gust erratically," says Rob Decker, a Voyager researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, in a statement. "For the first time, the wind even blows back at us. We are evidently traveling in completely new territory. Scientists had suggested previously that there might be a stagnation layer, but we weren't sure it existed until now."

Voyager 1 is still within the heliosphere, the area around the sun filled with charged particles blown from our star, but the data indicate that the craft will cross into interstellar space in the relatively near future - the next few months, or few years.

That may seem like a big gap in the estimate, but consider that the Voyager 1 and 2 craft have been in flight for over 30 years. It's the most distant manmade craft launched from Earth, having overtaken Pioneer 10 in 1998.

Voyager 1 and her sister ship Voyager 2 were launched in 1977. Their original mission, to explore Jupiter and Saturn, resulted in the discovery of active volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io, among other things. The mission was extended to include visits to Uranus and Neptune, which have still only been visited by Voyager 2.

Voyager's current mission is called the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM) and has the goal of extending exploration of the solar system to the edge of the sun's sphere of influence.

More on Voyager

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Filed under: In Space • News
soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. Xavier Derek Hudson Gaines

    Cool info. What i think is that the magic flight launch box ( mflb ) is a small, quick, portable vaporizer that can be used by anyone, anywhere, anytime.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  2. Lee Anne

    I'd prefer that my tax money go to NASA and some causes I select. And, by the way, I don't own a toaster, but do have a great toaster oven!

    January 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  3. brendon coss

    funny i was 5th graid when it lifted off! Its been like an old friend i kept up with, check in on from time 2 time, it prob the best investment the gov ever made, cause of all info they got back from it!

    December 8, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  4. I'm The Best!

    I think the picture has Voyager coming from Saturn's orbit... or at least that's where the line is coming from.
    Just an observation

    Still really cool that the thing is still running and sending us back info. It will be a sad day when that thing finally runs out of juice.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      Nevermind, I figured it out, I see it now.... Voyager 1 started flying that direction after it looked at Saturn. Voyager 2 went on to look at Uranus and Neptune then went off in the other direction.

      December 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  5. Eric

    Voyager will return to earth in the 23rd century (Stardate 7414.1).

    December 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Yakobi.

      That was Voyager 6.

      December 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  6. Voyager

    Can you hear me now?

    December 7, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  7. mike

    A good prank by any aliens out there would be to quietly place Voyager in the NASA parking lot in the middle of the night.

    December 7, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Punisher2000

      Yeah! With the caption: Cost of repairs $2.95.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • ChaoticDreams


      December 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Xen1313

      Aliens to Earth: Stop littering...

      December 30, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  8. joe

    What happens if we cross thru into interstellar space and poke "someone" in the eye!!!

    December 7, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Punisher2000

      Jpe: you can`t just poke anyone in the eyes. You might start an interstellar conflict

      December 7, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  9. Sick

    Congrats NASA and Voyager! Cheers to many more years of exploration!

    December 7, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  10. Hotas Fuch

    "'The latest data, transmitted to Earth by NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN), show that Voyager 1 has entered a new region of space referred to as the "stagnation region.'"

    Actually, the latest data was transmitted to Earth by Voyager and was received by NASA's Deep Space Network. NASA's Deep Space Network didn't transmit the data to Earth. And we wonder why so many people don't trust the media to get the details in stories right.

    December 7, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • Judas Priest

      Pick some more nits. The statement you're picking on is at leas substantially true. Save it for when they're completely and utterly wrong, probably in the next post.

      December 7, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • Punisher2000

      And you, after having gone to interstellar school, are now perfect.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  11. binky42

    CNN – Can you please stop using religious terms to describe things in the Light Years blog? I have to wonder if you're doing this on purpose to start a flame war.

    December 7, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • JB

      Actually, NASA used the religious terminology, 'Cosmic Purgatory', CNN just quoted it.

      December 7, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • Sartre

      Yeah, like Jupiter, Saturn, etc.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:37 am |
      • MaryInBoise

        Ha! Good one!

        January 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Mike280

      Purgatory was described in Dante's inferno, not in the any religious texts.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:45 am |
      • Mike

        Ah- HA! Purgatorio was a separate poem. The three together: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, Dante's Divine Comedy.

        Don't be wrong when you correct people, because I'M watching– hahahahahaha

        December 7, 2011 at 11:14 am |
      • traks

        What about how St. Patrick used purgatory to convert the pagan Irish in order to incorporate the beliefs of the land of fey into the christian politis?

        March 25, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Punisher2000

      NO, we won`t.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  12. jim

    would make a good eveready battery comercial

    December 7, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  13. tracie

    Could a spacecraft be built to run on poo?

    December 7, 2011 at 7:49 am |
    • reality check

      yes. i run my car on poo. I converted my driver's seat to a toilet seat. Drivethroughs and all you can eat wing buffetts are my friend

      December 7, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • Punisher2000

      No, but they can put a bumper sticker that says `Powered by scatological matter`

      December 7, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  14. mmi16

    Sail on – Voyagers

    December 7, 2011 at 5:03 am |
  15. fiskenmann

    Is there a finite distance (or wild guess) from which we can still receive communication from the Voyagers?

    December 7, 2011 at 3:30 am |
    • ISDAMan

      Any signal sent will eventually get there or here. It is all a matter of time so long as the craft continues to function properly.

      December 7, 2011 at 3:42 am |
    • dehve

      There's not so much a limit of the range (of course the further it gets from us, the longer the signal will take to reach here, and the weaker it will be) as much as there's a limit of the spacecraft's power supply. It's powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, so eventually it will no longer have the juice available to transmit signals back to Earth. According to the Wikipedia article it should be capable of this up to approximately 2025.

      December 7, 2011 at 7:09 am |
    • Punisher2000

      Clearly yes. What will determine the distance is the last message ever received.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • C. Smith

      Contrary to the two above, there is a range limit. It is defined by signal strength and noise, though, not by how far the light will go. Yes, the light will eventually get here from anywhere the Voyagers may go, but the farther they go, the more faint their signal becomes, and the more static it has to compete with. As we improve our signal detection systems, we can extend that range (without touching either Voyager), but the range is still limited.

      And no, I don't know what that range is.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  16. Azezel

    The funny thing about sending probes to another system is that if you sent one out every 10 years given the pace of improvement... By the time the first one got there travel to and from that system would be routine like futurama.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • Gone

      The rate of technological improvement has been negligible in the past few decades. NASA is terribly underfunded, and the American people are more interested in guessing when Jesus will come back then exploring the universe we inhabit.

      But hey, military technology has been advancing by leaps and bounds! Remember, that's the important thing. The only important thing.

      December 7, 2011 at 8:53 am |
      • Punisher2000

        What do you mean When Jesus will come back? isn`t he already here?

        December 7, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • binky42

      NASA isn't underfunded. It's just that all the red tape they need to jump through to get anything done is wasting their resources.

      December 7, 2011 at 8:59 am |
      • Wes

        Actually. there is a lot of red tape they have to go through, AND they're underfunded.

        December 7, 2011 at 9:36 am |
      • cosman

        Visualize one paper dollar representing the entire US budget. If you were to cut a piece off of the end of the dollar to represent NASA funding, you wouldn't even get to the ink. NASA's funding is 0.06% of the total budget for goodness sake! Don't beleive me? Look it up.

        December 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  17. Jake

    "Do we have "quality of content" standards?"


    Get a life......You're posting at CNN.......remember the movie Blazing Saddles??

    To paraphrase......"Standards! Standards??......We don't need no stinking Standards!!"

    December 7, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • Joe

      Actually, that line originated in "Treasure Of The Sierra Madre" with Humphrey Bogart in 1948. Mel Brooks only ripped it off for a joke in Blazing Saddles 26 years later.

      December 7, 2011 at 6:36 am |
      • reality check

        LOL. Good one DiNozzo

        December 7, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • reddog9500

      "Badgers? We don't need no stinking badgers!"

      December 7, 2011 at 8:57 am |
      • reddog9500

        And I thought Weird Al invented it.

        December 7, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Punisher2000

      You seem to need them

      December 7, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  18. 60minuteman

    I wonder if it is lonely yet?

    December 7, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • Punisher2000

      No. It plays with itself

      December 7, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  19. ryan

    It's hard to imagine that this thing has been going for 30 years and at light speed it's only about 11 hours away. It is mind blowing trying to imagine how big the universe is, or how small we actually are.

    December 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Bill Mosby

      Ain't it the truth!

      December 7, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • Jo Jo

      Simple really. 42.

      December 7, 2011 at 12:46 am |
      • CSher

        Jo Jo – Did you remember your towel?

        December 7, 2011 at 1:41 am |
    • GaryO

      The Voyager spacecraft are not traveling anywhere near the speed of light.
      Here is a chart from the NASA site, showing the relative velocities of both Voyager Spacecraft:


      Voyager 1
      Voyager 2
      Distance from the Sun (Km)
      Distance from the Sun (Mi)
      Distance from the Earth (Km)
      Distance from the Earth (Mi)
      Total Distance Traveled Since Launch (Km)
      Total Distance Traveled Since Launch (Mi)
      Velocity Relative to Sun (Km/sec)
      Velocity Relative to Sun (Mi/hr)
      Velocity Relative to Earth (Km/sec)
      Velocity Relative to Earth (Mi/hr)
      Round Trip Light Time (hh:mm:ss)

      December 7, 2011 at 5:45 am |
      • bill

        GaryO, thanks for the data, but you should reread the original post. He did not say that it was traveling at light speed, he just indicated that it was only 11 hours away from earth at light speed.

        December 7, 2011 at 8:07 am |
      • Earnest T Bass

        Are you kin to Spock? No Jim,I'm not!

        December 7, 2011 at 11:24 am |
      • Howard

        Either GaryO copied his NASA data wrong, or NASA lacks a fundamental knowledge of the solar system.
        Distance from the Sun: 10,951,000,000 miles
        Distance from the Earth: 10,902,000,000 miles
        Distance from the Sun to Earth: 51,000,000 miles???? I thought it was 93,000,000 miles.

        December 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
      • GaryO

        Howard, you are aware that Earth revolves around the sun. Goes around once a year. Sometimes, the Earth will be closer to Voyager than the sun. Sometimes, the sun will be closer to Voyager than the Earth. Sometimes, there will be a moment where the distance is the same. I imagine that happens twice/year, given the rotation of the Earth around the Sun. Call me crazy, but somehow, I think that NASA has a better grasp of the solar system than you do.

        December 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
      • Eric

        Howard, are you assuming they are all collinear? I don't think they are. I don't know the geometry of the moment, but on can envision a case where Voyager is the same distance from the earth and sun.

        December 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Punisher2000

      Your estimation is wrong. 10.5 hours

      December 7, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  20. Professor Trollworth

    The fact these still exist and are operating is proof that my toaster oven should not have broken after a year. Walmart clearly has terrible quality products. Come on! If a space ship can last over 30 years in space being bombarded with radiation in a vacuum, surely a toaster can continue to make toast for more than a year. I hate you Walmart.

    December 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Pragmaclast

      If it didn't break, they couldn't sell you a new one.

      December 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • 60minuteman

      Made in China?

      December 7, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • Sciguy73

      You obviously need a plutonium powered toaster.

      December 7, 2011 at 12:31 am |
      • DanIam

        Nice! For that extra crispy toast. Then you're toasted!

        December 7, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • df

      So Funny!!!! and true ..but really Funny!!

      December 7, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • KingHippo

      I'm pretty sure your toaster wasn't engineered and manufactured by NASA scientists. Of course then it wouldn't be sold at Walfart, only some snooty rich-people magazine would carry it. Actually, now that I think about it, since NASA isn't sending people into space anymore, maybe they could start working on stuff like longer lasting toasters and better video game consoles. Or how about getting on that whole flying car thing? We've only got about 2 more years, or people are going to start to believe the Back to the Future movies aren't actually based on true stories.
      But seriously Professor Trollworth, nice comment. I needed a good laugh.

      December 7, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Perry the Platypus

      Kudos, Professor T.

      December 7, 2011 at 1:50 am |
    • Loki

      actually, the part about being in a vacuum would extend the life...just like a body won't decompose in space, the parts will not oxidize and deteriorate as quickly as they would in an environment with an atmosphere...

      December 7, 2011 at 8:10 am |
    • Golden Record

      It's called "intrinsic obsolescence".

      December 7, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Punisher2000

      First: Walmart probably hates you. Second, you toaster oven is not in a vacuum. Third, get a toaster next time.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • TruAmeriKan

      My parents had a toaster that worked well over 60 years. My sister has it and as far as I know it's still working. Made in the gold old USA!!!

      December 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  21. JeffinIL

    Heck, I'm impressed that both vehicles are still operational and have maintained contact for all this time.

    December 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      Pssst... they're not "vehicles". You're thinking of your '77 Chevy Cavalier.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
      • urdumb

        That car model did not exist in '77 and the voyager space craft is a space vehicle.

        December 7, 2011 at 6:59 am |
    • Golden Record

      Above poster is correct on both accounts.. It is a vehicle.. It carries a Golden Record (Google it).. The Cavalier was introduced in 82'. You're Google Fu sucks.

      December 7, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  22. steve

    I love this stuff. Thirty years to get 11 billion miles and the closet star besides our Sun is 4.2 light years. Awesome, and humans are pi$$ ants when it comes to the universe.

    December 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • steve

      *closest 🙂

      December 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • fred

      No, only you're a pi$$ant.

      December 7, 2011 at 12:00 am |

    I 'm lucky to be born in the time of NASA. Awesome, really awesome.

    December 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • RsbnTn

      Andrew- Thanks for your personal stuff here. Are any of these guys still alive that built this thing? Detroit sure could have used them in the 70s-90s! At least their wisdom and models of problem solving. It's about our collective science accomplishments, arent there enough other forums and outlets for personal political rantings of some?

      December 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • Kay

      It's amazing, isn't it!! I was born in 1945. The changes in my life...just about space...have been amazing. I remember telling my infant daughter, just after she was born in 1970, that she would live all her life in a world where man had been to the moon. And now my infant great grandson will live all *his* life in a world where it's actually possible to travel FASTER than the speed of light! And, now...Voyager 1 and 2 have been flying for 34 years and are going to cross into interstellar space very shortly!! How cool is that???

      December 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
      • LeRoy_Was_Here

        My grandfather was born in 1890 and lived to 1972. He pointed out to me that he was a teenager at the time of Kitty Hawk (1903) and the Wright brothers, and lived to see men walk on the Moon. You want to talk about change in one lifetime! He told me that he planned to stick around long enough to see men walk on Mars. Oops. In some sense, technological progress may be slowing down. Since 1974, no human being has been farther than 250 miles from the Earth. We used to travel 250,000 miles to the Moon. Perhaps we are now a declining civilization.

        December 7, 2011 at 8:14 am |
    • VegasRage

      Here! Here! Right you are.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  24. ObjectiveOpinion

    Our projected expenditures for 2012 for the military are between $2.6 to $3.4 Billion Dollars per Day. And we have to cut NASA budget?

    December 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • HP

      what you mean is "between $2.6 AND $3.4 billion" When you use the word "between" then it is "between this AND that" if you want to use the word "to", up ,must say "FROM this to that". Hard to believe, but there are rules in English.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
      • kyle

        Seriously? Do you feel better now? Wat I mean 2 say is duz it matter how he/she speaks it?

        December 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
      • Sciguy73

        Words are important.

        December 7, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  25. Craig

    No signs of intelligent life here!

    December 6, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Major Tom

      Copy that. We'll keep searching.

      December 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  26. ISDAMan

    So, when the craft travels beyond the heliosphere, I wonder if it will become apparent that, the portion of space, that we observe all other space through, acts as a type of lens; refracting light, skewing perspective, and distorting the perception of distance and depth. And, imagine if we find, not worm holes, sub space, or hyperspace, but, interstellar jet streams of charged particles following predictable paths. What if we find that space acts just like water?

    December 6, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Dave Rable

      "What if", indeed, but your speculations should remain just that until some kind of evidence supporting your ideas come forward. Wormholes are still speculation, yet an entire subculture has built an imaginary futuristic world around the idea that not only they exist, but they can be tamed and used for travel. I consider such extensions of pure speculation to be absurd.

      That said, it will be interesting to see just what is out there, if Voyager manages to survive that long.

      December 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • TR


      December 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • Ben

      Whoa, dude .... I think I need some serious doobage to get my head around that concept, man. Where's Tommy Chong when you need him?

      December 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
      • RsbnTn

        I like it, Ben.

        December 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • huh?

      I too think that the heliosphere acts like a lens that distorts light and depth.... however I believe it's only very minute correction in our calculations of distances between stars and galaxies. The minute corrections being 1 to 10 light years off depending on how far back we are looking.

      December 7, 2011 at 7:07 am |
      • ISDAMan

        From the new, "bubbly", understanding of our heliosphere's outer edge, some regions may present a greater degree of refraction and/or blur. I also wonder if there will be a more remarkable temperature shift after this region. The heliosphere could be protecting us from sources of heat in much the same way having a wet finger would provide momentary protection from serious scalding if quickly thrust into hot lead. Those bubbles may act like steam insulation.

        December 7, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
  27. Tim

    Interesting article about a major scientific feat – probably one of the most remarkable ones humans have achieved – and all you imbeciles can think to do is stick your stupid political and/or religious nuttery into the discussion?

    Wow. Just, wow. The sooner we die off the better.

    December 6, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Chuck

      It's really more a feat of engineering than science.

      December 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
      • saltamonte

        Do you think engineering was born is a vacuum my friend? It's all science fundamentally and completely.

        December 6, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
      • IdahoTom

        Armmm,,, Saltamore, unfortunately, Technology and Science are synergistic beasts that evolves with each other. Science is the pursuit of better understanding nature and technology (engineering) is the application of our "approximate" knowledge of nature to make nature work for us. You learn more about science using technology (engineering) that's developed using the known science and you make even better technology (engineering) by enhancing the understanding of nature (science) to build an even better tool. There's no "fundamentally science" or "fundamentally technology" you won't have one without either.

        December 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
      • saltamonte

        Respectfully, IdahoTom that's precisely what I said without being wordy. Engineering (technology) is born of science, as well as medicine etc. Science is indeed fundamental because everything else flows from our better understanding of how the universe (nature) is put together.

        December 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • asdad

      Obama killed NASA!

      December 6, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
      • JBD

        Obama killed OBL too!

        December 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
      • LeRoy_Was_Here

        Easy to fact-check: NASA's budget has RISEN under Obama. In several years during the unlamented George W. Bush presidency, it was declining. The claim that Obama has 'killed' NASA is a flat-out LIE.

        December 7, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • saltamonte

      Very true and well stated. Most humans are pathetically small minded. Look and listen to what they think is important and the pure nonsense they believe and espouse. Me thinks they are little more enlightened then those burning witches for 300 years in Europe and America. Scientific illiteracy abounds and if humans don't reach above and grow beyond their own self absorbed nonsense we're all doomed.

      December 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  28. Bob

    V-GER ~ The name given after the machine planet sends it back to search for it's creator..

    December 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Ryan

      I was thinking the same thing!!

      December 6, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
      • Andrew

        I'm somewhat amazed there are so many people who associate the Voyager spacecraft with that film. It really wasn't very good, it was rather boring. I'm not sure if my brother has ever stayed awake through the whole thing. No one associated with the project was really pleased... and it wasn't their fault, I blame the studio.

        December 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
      • Andrew is lame

        Andrew you seem like a bit of a tw@t.

        December 6, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
      • Andrew

        I might be. But at least I don't go posting inane statements calling other people I don't know lame. So I always have that, at least.

        December 7, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • National Jester

      I liked the idea behind the film. Machine and man unite. Machines, like humans, looking for their creator-where did I come from. Both looking for PURPOSE. Too bad the execution of the film was so uneven.

      December 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Akira

      I guess that means in about 300 years, it will come back to Earth in a giant cloud, ready to destroy all the carbon units. But it's all good, Kirk-unit will be there.

      December 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • uncle vito

      Once it crosses into interstellar space, will Spock's father contact us?

      December 7, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  29. dan

    the enterprise would have got there in a nanosecond at sublight speed

    December 6, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Ex-Hooligan

      Correction Dan – "more than a nanosecond"... certainly you will agree that the math doesn't work; 186,000 MPS times 0.000000001 doesn't get you into that neighborhood in that time frame. But I admire your perspective.

      December 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
      • Andrew

        Depends entirely on whose perspective you are looking from. From the perspective of the enterprise, at sublight speed, relativistic effects still come into play... so due to length contraction and time dilation, they can travel that distance in a nanosecond because the distance becomes arbitrarily smaller.

        From earth's perspective however, the trip would take longer. (Brian May composed a song for Queen, '39, entirely about time dilation. A trip that takes 1 year to people on the ship takes 100 years from earth's perspective. Cool song, made cooler now that the man actually has a doctorate in astrophysics)

        December 6, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
      • MSU Got Robbed

        I have a cool fact for will die alone!

        December 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
      • Timetraveler

        Andrew: You are clearly a complete m0r0n without so much as the most rudimentary understanding of physics. Throwing "impressive" sounding words at random without a clue about what they mean is certain indication of that. One nanosecond at "sublight" speed moves you less than a foot. Do the math. Or ask someone who can actually do basic math. Relativity doesn't perform magic tricks, you imbecile.

        December 6, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
      • Andrew

        Umm, what? Listen, time dilation says something pretty damn simple. The time experienced in your own frame is always less than the time experienced in other frames. t'=γt, where t=time in your frame (the 'proper frame', or time you experience), γ=lorentz factor, or sqrt(1-v^2/c^2), and t'=time experienced in primed frame, or the one you're not traveling with.

        So what happens as v approaches c? That means it becomes sqrt(1-a number very close to 1) which becomes 1/a very small number, which makes it a very large number.

        Notice there is NO constraint on the value of the lorentz factor. The faster you make v, the bigger gamma becomes.

        So then lets bring it back to the whole issue of 'can you travel that distance at sublight speed'. The answer is YES but it depends entirely on whose frame you are talking about. The frame on the earth, relative to the enterprise, is the 'primed frame'. If you make velocity v sufficiently high, you can have t (the time you experience) to be 1 nanosecond and even if it takes 100 years in a primed frame (earth frame), it still could take one nanosecond from your frame if you travel sufficiently close to the speed of light.

        You can call me a moron all you like but I'm sorry this is my major. If you want, I could go over the derivation of the lorentz factor from simple geometry, but frankly, if you couldn't grasp the point I was trying to make, I'm not sure how capable you yourself are in physics.

        (Seriously, the only real complaint you can have with this is 'it wasn't robust enough, you should explicitly write out an actual transformation matrix', but if you're formulating complaints like that, you should already be well aware that I'm right, in one person's individual frame, a trip that would take hours for light to travel would only take a nanosecond for a person to travel... if they are going sufficiently fast. From light's frame, it is absorbed the instant it is emitted, as in, no time at all passes.)

        December 7, 2011 at 1:19 am |
  30. Jon

    11,000,000,000 miles and no sign of The Flying Spaghetti Monster! I'm starting to lose faith.

    December 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • WDS

      Don't give up hope, brother!

      December 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • S1N

      That's because he's been hiding behind the Moon this whole time, silly.

      December 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • FSM Worshipper

      His Noodly Appendage will touch you if you just have faith and pray. Some crack won't hurt either.

      December 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Sciguy73

      May you be annointed by His tomatoey goodness and accept His noodly magnificence into your heart, into your soul, and ye shall forever be free. In Pasta's name we pray. Ramen.

      December 7, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • KC Observer

      That's because, my fellow pastafarian, His Noodliness is everywhere.

      The Pope

      December 7, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  31. Yoda

    Go if you must but distance the goal should not be,.... dimensions it is where the truth and answers lie.

    December 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • FauxNewz

      English classes many skipped did he.

      December 6, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
      • J Sledge

        His name IS Yoda, duh!

        December 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  32. fgy

    nuclear energy will solve our problems...

    December 6, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Homer S

      Remember, that's "NUKE-yuh-ler".

      December 7, 2011 at 4:40 am |
  33. fgy

    well...who knows if this crap is real, certain scientific things are lies...these guys are playing too much x

    December 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Hugo

      Which "scientific things" are lies?

      December 6, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Bob


      "Who knows if this crap is real"

      We do – we've now taken the measurements. Did you read the article?

      December 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Paaul

      yeah.. don't believe NASA and instead gobble down Ron Paul's crap or an GOP dude ... smart choice.
      Yes, dude .. this stuff is true, yes human designed and launched a probe, which is about to leave the solar system for the first time in the history of the human kind. DO yo get it?
      No, you don't, if it was for you and your brain, we'd still be hopping from branch to branch on a tree.
      In just less than 100 years from the first flight, human kind has been able to lift up from the ground and start exploring outside of the solar system, ... either you grasp the importance of this or you don't and never will.

      December 6, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Quid Malmborg

      Your tinfoil hat is stuck on that pointed head of yours a bit too tighly.

      December 6, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Why, fgy, are you going to talk to us instead of your "faith"?

      December 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  34. Phreddy57

    Someday, somewhere some alien being will find the spacecraft. They will figure out the crude drawings on the side and play the gold disk on the side. They will look up in the night sky and scream out to us:


    December 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Phil

      "Feedie Beedie Beedie...Way ta go Buck"

      December 6, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
      • Dean Koki

        this is exactly the kind of knuckle-headed drivel that people like Phil here that really shows a truly narrow mind. I'm a religious person and i don't think other alien life forms would destroy my religion; the Bible never stated we humans are the only intelligent life in the universe, that would be human arrogance to assume that; and the Bible doesn't preclude or deny the possibility of alien life outside of our solar system. i would like to think that God has an infinitely creative capacity to create other intelligent life in a very big universe. I think Phil is a little nervous about the afterlife; doesn't want to think about the possibility that a Supreme Being will hold every person alien or otherwise accountable for what they do in this life

        December 6, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
      • Snow

        Hey Kookie.. the bible does not preclude the possibility of "one plus one maketh three" either. Does that mean it is a possibility?

        December 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
      • Phil

        Deam Koki: where the heck do you get that from about religion? Tweegy comment from Buck Rogers TV show makes more sense than thou!!!!

        December 6, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
      • kevin

        Dean Koki, Are you kiding me. Nice that you have your view point but I would like to know where you got all your crap from Phils little one liner. I think he was just having some fun. I bet your a long winded person that totally dismisses others view. Get a grip.

        December 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  35. Gold Oil & Drugs = GOD

    Just took off my tin foil hat.
    The human race is not yet ready to believe in other life in the universe.
    It would destroy religions, that are currently used to control man.
    Not only have we been in touch with other life forms,
    but we have a space port on the dark side of the moon.
    Have you ever seen the dark side of the moon ?
    Pyramids on mars.

    Things have been kept from you for a reason.
    The reason will be made clear........soon.

    December 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Reasonably

      DingDingDing. We have a winner!

      December 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • whatever

      Dream on

      December 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Stephen

      I saw the dark side of the Moon on November 25th, and so did all other seven billion humans on Earth who bothered to look up around sunset. The twenty seven Americans who traveled to the Moon saw the FAR side, which is probably what you are referring to. We have six spaceports on the Moon as of today, all on the near side. I speaketh the truth. You do not.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
      • Sam I. Am

        Thank you... so much...

        December 7, 2011 at 2:22 am |
    • Hugo

      Eh? Christians and Jews already believe in other life in the universe....angels. (Try a different argument.)

      December 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Chuck

      Life outside of earth would not destroy Christianity.

      December 6, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Sciguy73

      I see the dark side of the moon for two weeks out of every month. It's the part that isn't sunlit, if you need help finding it. What's your point?

      December 7, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • Kook = YOU

      Is it time yet? When is "soon"? Now?

      December 7, 2011 at 4:51 am |
  36. Badly-Bent

    Please check my math! It's gone 11 billion miles in 35 years so, I calculate in roughly 18660 more years it will have traveled 1 light year. Is that close to being right?

    December 6, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • SB

      gold star

      December 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • justmeanddog

      A distance of 300,000 km is approximately 1 light second. So all you have to do now is a little multiplication and division.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Phil

      Ummm... 2011 – 1977 = 34 years

      December 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Badly-Bent

      Her's what I came up with thanks to Excel.

      364.25 days in a year
      X 24 hours in a day
      8742 Hrs /yr
      X 60 Mins /hr
      524520 Mins / yr
      X 60 Secs /min
      31471200 Secs / yr
      186,000 Miles per second (roughly speed of light)
      5,853,643,200,000 Miles / yr (1 light year)

      Divide by 11,000,000,000
      or 5,853.643200 / 11

      equals 532.149381818 ... Number of 11 year periods
      X 35 years
      18625.22836 Years to go 1 light year distance
      – 35 Years already traveled
      18590.22836 Years to go to travel 0ne light year
      (assuming speed stays constant)

      December 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
      • Captain PIcard

        maybe in the next 18,000 years we can figure out how to travel faster than light and go pick up voyager, so by then we wont get in trouble for inter-galactic litter laws, which i'm sure is brewing somewhere right now to create.

        December 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  37. Aaron

    I am truly jealous of this wonderful machine. It's truly boldly going where no man, or thing has gone before!!!

    December 6, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Phil

      ...or woman, chimp, giraffe, etc.... 🙂

      December 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Andrew

      Incidentally, that was a major idea in most of the scientist and engineer's heads at the time of launching the satellite. My dad was associate producer on the first film, and was invited to JPL on numerous occasions with Gene because the scientists and engineers at Caltech loved Star Trek, and so for the first movie they centered it around the Voyager spacecraft. They got to see the actual satellite before it was launched, and trekkies got to hang out with Gene Roddenberry. It's no secret that Big Bang Theory is set to model Caltech.

      And if you haven't seen the first movie, don't, it was not very good. Paramount presold it so the movie had a necessary completion date and it was a classic case of studio meddling. There was enough talent associated with the project to turn out something less... boring. The night before the film got shipped out and the movie premiered, the production team watched the full screening, so gene, bob, my dad, the editor, and their respective spouses/dates (who would eventually be my mom, yay!), saw what was about to be released and Gene lead the charge to the bar. They were not amused.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
      • Flubber

        That is a VerY CooL StorY, Andrew. Tks.

        December 7, 2011 at 7:59 am |
      • CD

        Andrew. You are associated with nerd royalty. People involved in both the launching of Voyager and the creation of Star Trek. I bow at your altar, with my spock ears firmly attached, and map of the cosmos sewn to the front of my jedi cloak, and I say to thee: useth this awesome power wisely. You lucky ducky.

        May 18, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Chuck

      I'm not sure how boldly it's going. It didn't exactly have any choice in the matter. If anything, it's coldly going.

      December 6, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  38. MC

    Simply kickass that something made in 1977 has gone that far, and is still sending back data. Screw the trolls, this is cool as hell.

    December 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Indeed. Quite a shame we've throttled back our space program so much. Hopefully just a hiatus.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
      • StarShipTrooper

        Just another reason why Obama needs to be shoved into a dumpster come 2012.

        December 7, 2011 at 7:46 am |
      • Cindy Maddy

        Anyone consider that maybe we didn't actually throttle back the space program; just what the public knows about? Think about it.... Other nations have been stealing our technology left and right. Makes sense that we would go under cover. Conspiracy Theories aside, I wouldn't be surprised if we're actually spending 'MORE' but labeling the expense as hammers and toilet seats. 😛

        December 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Badly-Bent

      And its not a toyota.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • spaceballs

      Very cool indeed. To all you space junkies... How the hell does a battery last that long?

      December 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
      • dabble53

        They didn't use batteries. They used nuclear thermopiles (think miniature reactors but very low-grade reactions – basically just a long-lived heater)

        December 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
      • nukie

        A small amount of radioactive material generates heat. That heat is converted directly to electricity via a thermal couple. This lasts for a while but not forever.

        December 6, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
      • ruddy

        they are using ENERGIZER...LOL

        December 6, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • Barbara

      Agreed. Seems like they could put the same technology in cars and eliminate the need for oil. Whatever, it will be fun to see what VGER finds. Wasn't that in a Star Trek movie?

      December 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
      • Andrew

        Star Trek the motion picture, the very first Star Trek movie.

        December 6, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
      • Jeff S

        People don't want anything close to nuclear anywhere close to their home these think they would want it in their car?

        December 6, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
      • steve

        Ford had a model for it called the Nucleon. Of course that would have run on standard uranium for a power supply, not an RTG. I was reading something just the other day of a company talking of making an RTG prototype. It would go a million miles or something before a replacement. Forgive me, I'm drawing a blank on the particulars. The name escapes me at the moment as well. I'm sure someone here will find it.

        December 7, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • erick

      couldnt say it better, agreed, amazing!!!

      December 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Dave L


      December 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  39. nancypiglosisucks

    We should have sent Piglosi out on the satellite...

    December 6, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • dabble53

      I would have sent the current GOP contenders (including Cain and Trump), and raise the remaining general population IQ by a few points.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Grog Says

      Spoken like a six year old.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
      • dabble53

        Thank you. A very precocious 4.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
      • A 6yo's dad


        Calling him a six year old is an insult to six year olds! 🙂
        (yeah, I stole that)

        December 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Nancy'sMom

      seek therapy

      December 6, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  40. freddw

    It will keep on going forever unit the great crunch or it meets aliens, black holes, comets or some planet

    December 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Bob

      space is bigger than we can conceive... the odds of it running into something are extremely remote.

      December 6, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Sciguy73

      Actually, the odds of it running into something are relatively certain, given enough time. It will pass within 1.6 lightyears of Gliese 445 in only 40,000 years.

      December 7, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  41. Brian

    Open the pod bay doors Hal....

    December 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Phil

      "Hal,.... wake the *$&$^#^* up!!"

      December 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  42. lgbarn

    Live Long and Prosper V-ger

    December 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Phil

      Speaking of 'Veeger', maybe it'll hijack the USS Enterprise like in the movie!!!

      December 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
      • CD

        Who knows, but my guess is, that the name of the very first intergalactic human transportation device that's ever built, will of course, be called The Enterprise. I mean, come on...duh..

        May 18, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  43. Barry

    That's great and all, but do aliens believe in Jesus?
    Perhaps someone in this intelligent discussion group can hammer that one out over the next 150 comments.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Which Jesus? Our cult is better than your cult – just ask us!

      December 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
      • Phil

        spoken like a true 'blue oyster'

        December 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • TheBlueLion


      December 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • awram

      Aliens believing in Jesus is a long asked question. Theologins might not agree for a selfish reason, why would he die for another race? We are very protective of religous beliefs.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • The Real Truth

      If aliens worship our Jesus, then would you believe in Jesus?

      December 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
      • Gregory

        What we see around us, what science teaches us, what we experience in life, would seem to point to life not being a random act of chance. There are physical laws to the universe. Who wrote them?

        December 6, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
      • Jeebus

        I did!

        December 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • chyrd

      Other civilizations may not have been tested as we supposedly were... others may not have fallen from grace therefore not needing Jesus... see how stupid both of those sound?

      December 6, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Brando

      Aliens probably have a different Jesus. Our Jesus was the Godly embodiment of man. Other civilizations won't be men but something else.

      Instead of Jesus, an example of the Godly embodiment of another civilization, there is Kronarch, the immaculately spawned gender 3 tripod drone Nastronom from the Emathra colonoy of Planet Angarth's 5th moon.

      Compare that to our Jesus , the immaculately conceived male human Hebrew from the city of Nazereth on the planet Earth.

      Both are flesh representations of God living among his followers on a given planet but are separate physical individuals although their spirit is shared by the one Son of god known here as Jesus.

      Or maybe God doesn't exist.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Thumper

      Jesus... he mows my grass

      December 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Lee

      Some witnesses to UFO landings claim that our 'neighbors' believe in a Universal God, then our God is truly the God of the Universe as stated in the Old Testament and the Torah. It is also mentioned in the Bible that Jesus is the Son of God and God's son on Earth. How do we know that maybe God had other sons on other worlds. In time we will find out! I do not think this is heresy. God just seems to get bigger as we see more of his wondrous creations

      December 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
      • Snow

        Which means, all the talk about "Holy Trinity" is hot air too since there is no one son.. which also makes one think what else touted as "Truth" isn't..

        December 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
      • Sam I. Am

        @ Snow: So maybe we should all be discussing the Holy Icosahedron?

        December 7, 2011 at 2:31 am |
    • Eternity

      Trying to hard to troll = failtroll.

      December 6, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
      • Failtroll

        Eternity's name sounds fairly religious in connotation. Discuss...

        December 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  44. justmeanddog

    11 billion miles that’s nothing, I’ve gone almost 20 billion miles in the same time period, not counting my trip around the centre of the Galaxy, and I did it while spinning around at around close to 1100 mph, plus I never had to make even 1 course correction.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Reasonably

      At least let folks know what your meds are so they can take the same and join you on your journey.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
      • justmeanddog

        I hate to break it to you in this public forum,but if you are on Earth, and over 34 years old you have taken the same trip.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
      • Reasonably

        I hate to break it to you in this public forum, but you're a pedant. No one likes a pedant. My comment was simply to ask what meds he was on as he had one of the most lucid responses to date. Tah.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
      • SB

        Is that really what you're going with? Come on man, that's thinner than graphene. Everyone knows you just didn't get it. The correct response is silence, or admission. Digging a deeper hole is just making yourself look worse.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
      • Reasonably

        I take back what I said below. You, too, are a pedant. Self righteousness is much fun!

        December 6, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
      • Shazbat Nanu Nanu

        Reasonably has been spotted eating a poop sandwich somewhere in the Kuiper Belt. If discovered, aliens will simply ignore him.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
      • j.

        poor reason

        December 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
      • Reasonably

        Really? Poop sandwich? At least you got an astronomy reference in there in a weak attempt at validity! Try harder – you can do it!

        December 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
      • Shazbat Nanu Nanu

        Mankind should use Reasonably's bitter tears to test the absorbtion rate of Kleenex from outer space.

        December 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
      • Jeebus

        Hey reasonably,

        Thou shalt admit you didn't get the joke!

        And quit eating that poop sandwich.



        December 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
      • Shazbat Nanu Nanu

        If Reasonably cries in the Kuiper Belt with nobody around, does it make a sound?

        December 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • JT

      You sound like a first class idiot, if you were in charge of human evolution we still would be living in a cave.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
      • cwestions

        Assuming evolution is the true account of our existence...

        December 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
      • Shane

        cw, a vast majority of evidence shows that it is, or at the very least we are on the right track.

        December 6, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
      • CD

        I think the point of evolution is that no one is actually in charge of it?

        May 18, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • TheBlueLion

      I get it.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • BP Explorer

      Haven't we all on Planet Earth?

      December 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • SB

      @Reasonably and JT... think harder, guys. He's describing the motion of the Earth in that time period.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
      • Reasonably

        Why would that change my comments about his meds?

        December 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
      • SB

        Because you assumed he was describing a delusion and in need of medication, when in reality he was really describing the motion of our planet and therefore the journey everything on it has taken in that time. In other words, because you're an idiot.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
      • Reasonably

        See my answer to meandog above. Although your reply was much pedantic and more to point that out so cheers.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Cybermantis

      He is referring to riding on the surface of the earth while it spins, during his lifetime. You suckers need to get an education. Ignorance is the downfall of mankind. A person can be intelligent.... people are stupid. Case in point right here.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
      • Jon

        Actually, the fall of mankind will be due to children's reaching puberty before they have time to learn all the things they have to learn before they reach puberty.

        December 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • justmeanddog

      I guess 3 out 5 passing the test, so far, isn't too bad of a result. Plus The 2 who failed at least were entertaining in their assessment of my mental state.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Badly-Bent

      Not even to go to the bathroom?

      December 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • notstandingstill

      So you're revolving around the sun and spinning on the earth and moving around the galaxy, but you're still here and voyager is long gone. Relatively speaking you haven't gone anywhere.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
      • SB

        Relatively speaking, Voyager hasn't gone anywhere while we've moved 11 billion miles away from it.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
      • Nerd Mike

        Nah, Special Relativity doesn't apply to acceleration. In the Solar System / Voyager system, Voyager is the one that accelerated and left.

        December 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • justmeanddog

      Now children stop fighting, I was only fooling. The results of this test will not count towards your final mark.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
      • Reasonably

        2 pedants and an idiot argue on a CNN forum. And still Voyager presses on. Science is amazing!

        December 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  45. reddog9500

    When it arrives at the back wall of space it will bounce off and return to earth from the opposite direction it was launched from.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • awram

      I link your thinking....hopefully it won't be dragging anything with it......

      December 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Brrrnt – wrong answer. It will deflect according to it's angle of incidence when it hits the back wall of space. Then ping pong around for a few milenia. Until it's captured by those freaky aliens in Star Trek I. But we should have flying cars by then...

      December 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
      • DaMeglet

        And then Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 will turn into a sperm whale and a bowl of begonias!

        December 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
      • Arthur Dent

        @DeMeglet – oh no...not again.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Frank S.

      "It's turtles all the way down!"

      December 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
      • The Real Truth

        No its more scary than that ... its Obamas all the way down!

        December 6, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
      • CD

        LMAO No....even's Quorks all the way down

        May 18, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • justmeanddog

      I see you have bought into that whole “Anti-Matter, Anti-Gravity Halo” thing. Well soon we will see if you are right. If it begins to slow down and then reverses direction under the influence of the repulsive force of Anti-Gravity. It may end up bouncing back and forth like one of those old computer ping-pong animations.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  46. Joe

    Apparently you have no clue what the first amendment pertains to. It is so that the government cannot restrict your views. IS NOT the US government so therefore you have no 'Rights' to post on a message board just merely a privilege.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  47. Jman

    I'm sorry but did people forget what the term purgatory means?

    December 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Aaron

      Are you really going get hung up on a word?

      December 6, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • chyrd

      Nope... just some more made up nonsense so the church could make money...

      December 6, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  48. TheTruth

    Look up "Solar Warden" Tell me what you find

    December 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • awram

      The "Solar Warden" made it to the Fractured Fairy Tales list long ago. The technology for that story is up there with the cures for cancer available to important people. Like it or not we are stuck on this rock for a long time to come or until someone disproves people like Einstein. Don't get me wrong....I love a good story to tell my grand kids.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  49. IceT

    The most impressive feat in human history so far.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • WillyWalnuts

      Really ? What on Earth does this do to benefit mankind?

      December 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
      • Bob Semour

        If you have to ask, it's hopeless to even try to explain it to you. Go watch some football or something.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
      • IceT

        I didn't say it did .. I said it was impressive. But since you ask, it does benefit mankind & if I need to explain you wouldn't understand. Thanks for asking.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
      • heliocracy

        Benefit? In what way? You're not claiming that economic benefit is the only kind of benefit to mankind, are you? Knowledge is power...maybe not today, but who knows? Do you think Einstein came up with General Relativity because he knew it would someday make microcomputers possible, so that you would be able to complain that scientific endeavor has no benefit for mankind? I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you're a conservative.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
      • DaleNC

        Bob. Thats not an answer. I'd really like to know how this will benefit the earth also. It took over 30 yrs for this ship to get where it is? What will this tell us?

        December 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
      • kman02

        Really? What a close-minded d-bag. Exploration of space is an inate curiosity for MOST. Brain-dead morons don't really care what's out there.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
      • Strange1

        I'm so glad Newton asked how and why? But then, I'm sure more than one dullard in the 17th century that asked how his experiments and attempts to quantify what he observed "benefited man."

        December 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
      • awram

        Approaching 7 Billion. In the next 30 years it won't be about oil or the Taliban it will be about food and water. Mother Nature is not keeping up with plagues, Typhoid Marys or new ones like AIDS.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
      • Peter

        I would put this in the "pretty cool" and "interesting tidbit" category. Is it the greatest benefit to mankind? Doubtful. But then again, so what?

        I'm glad we're out there exploring space.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
      • DaMeglet

        When Christopher Columbus sailed west to fall off the edge of the world, did anyone at the time really think his "insanity" was going to help the human race?

        December 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
      • lolwhat

        I how you are not suggesting Columbus was a benefit to human kind. His exploration led directly to the death of millions of Aboriginals, the start of the Western empire which translated into todays economic and enviornmental problems, as well as the spread of infectious disease and threats to bio security.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
      • lolwhat

        Sorry about the above grammar mistake, my keyboard needs replacment. I meant "I hope you are not. . . "

        December 6, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
      • Paul

        @lolwhat – You're right. We'd all be better off running around half-naked, dancing around fires, living in teepees, and throwing spears at buffalo.

        December 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • CD

      What will be the next feat I wonder? Maybe people will catch on that the combined knowledge of the human race has lead to the ability of some very dedicated and intelligent people to do something that is massively cool....massively, massively cool. We all benefit knowing that we're capable of this, and that in our own way, we've all done a little bit to make this possible. Our ancestors too, did things, even if it wasn't direct. We ALL are part of this. Our species has taken the next step....our planet is ONE planet, and we've just sent an SMS to Spock (if he's out there) to come save us from ourselves.....or maybe we don't need spock to teach us? Maybe we can just marvel at how some plucky little apes figured out how to do such an incredible thing, and what is therefore possible for us to do to a community....and what an amazing boost of morale that could be, and wow, don't we all need a morale booster these and enjoy it!

      May 18, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  50. awram

    A true testament to American ingenuity and a space program that had money at one time. I have been lucky enough to have seen the start of the space race up til today with the news of Voyager. I remember when we built cars and TVs, such a long time ago. Living in the PAC West I watched Boeing go from building an aircraft to assembling one from parts made elsewhere, matter of fact, they will be moving most of the 787 program to a Southern state because the labor is more reasonable. I can't blame them...strictly business.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Gabe

      "strictly business" is going to ruin everything for everyone. What you meant btw was "strictly greed"

      December 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
      • Howie

        @ Gabe the reason of cost reduction is not one of greed it is of necessity. There are other manufactures of airplains in other countries that create a cost factor that must be realized. Yes profit is a motive its a motive for anyone doing anything, people volunteer when profit is not a motive. Get a grip and stop quoting the comunist manefesto.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  51. Robita

    It's sad that Man has accomplished this incredible miricle feat, and still we have a few rich people who rule the earth, and a majority of the population who are just plain fools. Somday I hope Man will catch up with his/her own technology.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • maia


      December 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • The Real Truth

      Obama is a stinking 1%er.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  52. RobbD

    Bon Voyage !

    December 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  53. WhatWhatWhat?

    Is this blog broke or what? Why are my posts not showing up?

    December 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Ay carumba...and it talks!!! The chupacabras!!!!

      December 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Chuck

      Do we have "quality of content" standards?

      December 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      I used the word "duh" when responding to someone who absolutely deserved it, for crying out loud.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  54. tspan1

    Story ERROR. "The latest data, transmitted to Earth by NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN)" is wrong. The data was transmitted to Earth by the Voyager spacecraft, and received using NASA's DSN (3 antennas on earth). How can the DSN transmit to Earth when it is sitting on Earth??? Duh.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Airmuller

      3 Antenna tracking stations. Not 3 antennas.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm |

    Did you guys know that nasa is part of the illuminati? well go look it up... thats why u really shouldnt praise NASA because they aren't working for the better of humanity, they are contributing to the lies that the media feeds us and helping plots of death and destruction. Praise our Lord, Jesus the Almighty God! He died on the cross for us, show some respect and accept him into your heart. He is the only way. Awaken people! I wouldn't be surprised if this comment got deleted... it would just prove how the government would do anything to hide the truth.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Evskie

      Mind your own buisness and find a page with others like you and your agenda.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
      • IceT

        Just ignore that one .. it was either a trolling attempt or they actually have issues, either way it 's not worth the time lost reading it.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
      • Rev. M-kell

        I wonder if he knows it's not the 16th century in longer! As a race if we stop learning we start dying!

        December 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Strange1

      Ok, now that you've proven you have some level of literacy, just go back to your narrow view of the world around us.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Chaz

      Look I'm one of the Council elders for the Illuminati and I get annoyed with all these random postings. Can't you just let us take over the world in peace and quiet?

      December 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Bob

      Oh, go out and sin, will you? Otherwise, your lord died for nothing.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Jeebus

      Thanks, buddy.

      Good lookin' out for me.

      Ya'll go out and have a good time, now! I died so you could have fun, after all!

      December 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • Dan

      Troll. No one's this stupid.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  56. Fred Evil

    You need help.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  57. justmeanddog

    In other news it was reported today that Voyager 1 had sent back pictures of a large spacecraft that is headed our way, It appears to have a metal plaque on it with what looks like writing along with a couple of pictures of some rather ugly looking multi-leged, two-headed, four eyed aliens and a map depicting the Andromeda Galaxy. The best translation of the writing so far is that it says, “We have heard you are and we are coming”.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Eric

      Ugly? Racist!

      December 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Kuske

      I saw that too before my screen went black and they switched to a commercial. Weird.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • DaMeglet

      Actually, they're coming to demolish our planet to make way for the construction of an interstellar bypass.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
      • Dan


        December 6, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
      • Sciguy73

        Those pesky Vogons.

        December 7, 2011 at 1:08 am |
  58. kyle


    December 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  59. al

    ...and neither could christians, jews, or anybody else believing in fairy tales. Nope...only scientists can accomplish things like this.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • svann

      The father of genetics – Gregor Mendel, was a christian monk. Just so you dont live in ignorance believing only atheists can think. You're welcome.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Chuck

      Many scientists are christian; the two are by no means mutually-exclusive. Besides, the Voyager success is actually less of science and more of engineering... and God is an engineer.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
      • David

        Chuck, you are correct that there are religious scientists. However the proportion of scientists that are is quite low compared to the general population.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
      • svann

        Really david? Since you claim statistical knowledge maybe you could enlighten us to the actual percentages.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
      • Sure Thing

        97% of National Academy of Sciences members (that is, the top scientists in the country) are nonreligious.

        Look it up.

        December 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
      • My Bad!


        Still the overwhelming majority.

        December 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  60. Chuck

    Why not?

    December 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  61. eroe777

    Go away.

    December 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  62. Peter

    Can this thing turn around and snap a picture of the solar system from where it is? All the planets? That would be cool!

    December 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ...

      They'd just look like stars.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
      • krishna

        no. only the sun will look like a star. not the planets.

        December 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
      • If horses had Gods ...

        Only the sun IS a star .. I mean that the planets would only appear like bright dots as stars appear, the wouldn't look like the close up images we've seen. But thanks for your input krishna.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
      • AGeek

        The planets would not look like stars, nor would they reflect light. The light source is beyond the reflected surface from Voyager's perspective. If you could see them at all, they would appear black. In essence, if you're Voyager, you're looking at the dark side of each planet.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
      • IceT

        AGeek ... it's only the dark side if they're between vger & the sun. If the planets are on the far side of the sun it wouldn't be the dark side.

        December 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
      • Tom in Santa Fe

        Already did it on Saint Valentine's Day a couple of years ago. Search the JPL website.

        December 6, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • No One In Particular

      It's been done... go to Wikipedia and search for Pale Blue Dot

      December 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
      • Carl Sagan

        I've seen it Billions and Billions of times.

        December 6, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • jim

      It did that already a few years back. The picture was the basis for Carl Sagans book "Pale Blue Dot", because that is what the earth looks like from there. If you want to be humbled, google pale blue dot and listen to Sagans commentary on youtube. It really makes you think...

      December 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Ronney

      Not enough power anymore to run its cameras =(

      December 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Clay

      Peter, in 1990, Voyager 1 did just that. At the request of Carl Sagan, the spacecraft powered up its camera and took one last picture of the Earth as it was departing the solar system. The resulting picture is called "The Pale Blue Dot". That was over 20 years ago, so I doubt it can even see Earth anymore. You should Google Pale Blue Dot for more info.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Marc

      I would look exactly like the stars in any night sky. You could not tell one star/planet from another.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
      • If horses had Gods ...


        December 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Dude

      The last photo the Voyagers took was Feb 14, 1990. It was a look back at the sun. If you go to you can search for it.

      At this point the sun would not stand out and it would use too much of its limited fuel to turn around.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Kuske

      I've seen some of the photos of the sun, taken from Voyager. It's getting faint. The planets are too far away to see. Newt Gingrich showed up though.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
      • Mike B.

        That wasn't the real Newt...It was the aura of his gigantic ego....

        December 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  63. khan in usa

    Amazing....great job NASA. You make the whole planet proud of you!

    December 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • AA

      Maybe Muslims were too busy refining Algebra, revolutionizing medicine which many methods we use today, built the first observatory, developed the astrolabe, and developed the first concepts of an algorithm which was to be used well after their time in computer science. All done within a the 7th and 10th centuries. Without them the Voyager wouldn't be doing any much voyaging at all.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
      • Oh Please

        Science is accomplished despite religion, not because of it.

        December 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
      • CD

        Maybe that's true these days, and of some religions more than others, but it stands to reason that some of the scientists who have contributed immensely to our world have done so in the quest to look inside the mind of their 'god'.

        Science came from religion, as well as in spite of it 🙂

        May 18, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  64. If horses had Gods ...

    First human made (solid) object to enter interstallar space .. small step for interstallar space, giant leap for humankind!

    December 6, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  65. nitin

    Dont be surprised if they start hurling back to earth and fall in Atlantic in the year 2030. The gold discs will be on auction on

    Jokes aside, Good job NASA. We are proud of you.

    December 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  66. yuppers

    I think that this article is very intersestin, i did the math and there is 11billion miles is 16.4 light-hours of travel ;D

    December 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • nitin


      December 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • bill

      We will probably never get to that earth-like planet which is 600 light year away. Pity

      December 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
      • erick

        If we know the planet is there we will get to it. We will eventually be able to take a nice photo of it at least....

        December 6, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  67. Alex

    Someday that little craft may be the only thing left to mark the existence of humanity in this universe.

    December 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • yuppers

      haha (:

      December 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
      • Letsmakeitwork

        A lot of truth to that. People don't realize that global warming is following an exponential curve. We're at the knee of the curve now as evidenced by glaciers melting and etc. Once around the knee of the curve, global warming will take off so fast that mankind will be anhilated (sp?). Think of it as chasing a bus moving accelerating out ot its stop. – You can't catch it. What has happened in the last 200 years is so short in geological time that Mother Nature and evolution don't have a chance to counteract it. It's up to us! So I would just go ahead and plan on global warming happening and plan accordingly. Blow the smoke in the air and live it up in a hedonistic fashion, for tomorrow you shall die!

        December 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • jim

      Wrong. Someday this craft WILL be the only momento of humanities existence. NASA says is course and speed mean it will fly virtually forever (or until the end of the universe anyway) withhout ever encountering anything. Unless, of course, Klingons or something like that detect it and pick it up.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Kuske

      Very true. I'm sure we are way behind other civilizations. They can see us very well, but can't get to us, yet.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  68. streetheat1

    Only 81,000 more years and it will reach the next closest star system of Proxima Centauri. I'll be waiting for that! Ummm...actually I won't, I guess. I will probably be oil by then.

    December 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • calmchessplayer

      I hate to point stuff out but if launched in 1977 doesn't that make them 34 years old? Thanks for making me yonger 🙂

      December 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
      • Leaf on the Wind

        The article states they've been "in flight for over 30 years" - does that help? :-p

        December 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
      • If horses had Gods ...

        Perhaps they were deducting time spent orbiting the planets?! Counting only time spent traveling away from the sun.

        December 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
      • Chuck

        Yes, 34 years old and still functioning nicely... without even a single Windows update. Back in those days, products were designed well in the first place.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
      • CD

        lol definitely not running on Vista, even though the views are fantastic!

        May 18, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • jim

      Unfortunately its not headed in that direction, so you will wait 80000 years for nothing

      December 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  69. dede

    I remember when Voyager was launched, and to see the Saturn V launch vehicle rise into the sky was truly awesome. The ground literally shook under your feet. Whatever happened to that sense of adventure and accomplishment? We need something like that again to create jobs and a sense of national pride.

    December 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Robert Zubrin

      We need to go to Mars. Pronto.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  70. justmeanddog

    Mission control to Voyager 1: We have detected a large body on a collision course with you. We estimate impact in 5 hours. If you are receiving this message we were wrong about the Time.

    December 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Criptic

      that's funny

      December 6, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  71. Nate

    11billion miles is 16.4 light-hours of travel.

    December 6, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Levi

      and? Do you mean to waste our time with answers to questions no one asked? Go stroke your lame ego elsewhere. We can all use a calculator son.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
      • ORLY?

        Wow, Levi. Did you get here on the short bus?

        Tell us, how did it go when you were diagnosed with Aspberger's syndrome (or was it first-generation Tourette's Syndrome)...

        December 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
      • Levi

        haha! Good one. Sticks and stones...

        December 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
      • I Have Asperger's

        As do many astronomers, engineers, and scientists in general.

        You really shouldn't use it as an insult, as we tend to be very intelligent and science-oriented. Plus, it doesn't even make sense in context here.

        I'm guessing you don't even know what it is.

        December 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • ShaneB

      Be nice Nate, it may save someone counting on their fingers..

      December 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
      • ProudKafir

        That is right Shane. I can only count up to twenty. Twenty-one if I drop my pants.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ...

      I found that bit of trivia interesting .. I don't need to pick on someones bit of trivia to make myself feel superior because I didn't (or couldn't) come up with it first.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • JaeB

      Personally, I thank you for the factoid. I didn't check it, but the light HOURS tag blows my mind considering the 30 years Voyager has been... voyaging.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  72. MisterPL

    Thirty years. Obviously Voyager wasn't built by General Motors.

    December 6, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Criptic

      Very true but yu didn't spend 30 million dallors on a Chevy Nova.............

      December 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Militray Retiree

      Thank God it wasn't blocked by the GOP. If they ahd known it would be a successful government program they would have killed it...

      December 6, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Chuck

      Apparently not running Windows either.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  73. Saturn 5

    One of the truly fantastic feats of mankind that a vehicle of our design will leave the confines of the solar system into interstellar space! Awe inspiring. Now if only it can stay away from that Klingon ship using probes as target practice, we will be better for it. When can we have access to the same nuclear batteries as Voyager to use in our phones?!?!

    December 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Levi

      When the risk for cancer is no more. Or do you desire a tumor the size of a lapdog on the side of your head?

      December 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
      • Richard


        December 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
      • Levi

        Oh please Richard. Answering a question that was asked makes people trolls? Good luck with parenthood then. Did you choose Rich because we can call you Dick too?

        December 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Chuck

      As for the "nuclear batteries," well... they are still very much in-use. The recently-launched Mars probe uses basically the same technology. There are still a few dozen people known to have cardiac pacemakers that use the same technology. But, because of waste disposal issues, they're now only used in exotic applications such as space probes.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
      • Eric

        I guess waste disposal for such spacecraft isn't an issue.
        (Not in my backyard!)

        December 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  74. txkboy

    Finally! Our tax dollars are worth something! We should transmit a signal to one of the ships to head over to b22.

    December 6, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Yo! Pal! Wake up, man, you must have dozed off for a second. This is my stop and you're blocking the aisle, move aside please.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  75. Rubyleaf

    Its amazing this craft is still working after 30 years in space. As for the aliens finding us there's better chance of them receiving the Arecibo message sent in 1974 then finding Voyager. NASA can be proud of this achievement as well as the many technological breakthroughs they have given us that have helped to strengthen US status and contributed some measure of economic growth to America. Its sad that we can longer see the many benefits of this program.

    December 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  76. Josh

    Our message in a bottle. An awe inspiring achievement.

    December 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  77. Yoness

    It's managed to travel a couple of light-HOURs in 30 years. I wouldn't worry too much about aliens finding it anytime soon considering the nearest solar systems are 4 light Years away and the best habitable ones are hundreds of light years away. By the time anyone does find it, even its plutonium reactor core will be a harmless cold chunk of lead.

    December 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Yeah, what we really need is warp drive. You wouldn't have warp drive, would you? 'Cause we could really use warp drive right about now. Are you sure you don't have warp drive? Oh, well...

      December 6, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
      • Alex

        Ah, but remember what happened to Voyager (aka V'GER) in Star Trek The Motion Picture; it fell into an inconvenient black hole and went far far away. In the grand scheme of things there's no saying what the Voyagers and the Pioneers might run into out there. The scientists weren't even sure about this stagnation region until now. Now if Voyager suddenly disappears and is spotted again heading towards the sun from a different direction ... that'll be strange.

        December 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  78. Mike

    As far as aliens finding it and tracing it to us, that was part of the mission. The following comes from wikipedia:

    Each Voyager space probe carries a gold-plated audio-visual disc in the event that either spacecraft is ever found by intelligent life-forms from other planetary systems. The discs carry photos of the Earth and its lifeforms, a range of scientific information, spoken greetings from people (e.g. the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the United States, and the children of the Planet Earth) and a medley, "Sounds of Earth", that includes the sounds of whales, a baby crying, waves breaking on a shore, and a collection of Earth music, including works by Mozart and Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode".

    December 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • MOJerry

      Does BestBuy have any copies??

      December 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • John

      Aliens have found the disc and they have sent a message back: "send more Chuck Berry."

      December 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
      • Marvin Berry

        He just ripped it off of that Calvin Klein kid.

        December 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  79. Joe

    Actually both of these spacecraft carry a gold plated phonograph record describing who created them and where they came from. These are intended for any alien civilization that might someday encounter the craft in deep space. Not to worry. They probably wont be found for at least thousands or even millions of earth years.

    December 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Machine

      Or...they could be found tomorrow. Either is equally possible.

      December 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Bob

      As long as aliens use record players.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
      • Chuck

        Just in case, we sent needles along too.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • toxictown

      I hope the aliens are retro hipsters and still use vinyl.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      One day they will become tourist attractions where, after building a moving platform encircling the spacecraft in space, where ships can dock, people will be able to peer down on the relics, just like in a museum. Of course, by that time we will have passed them up.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  80. us1776

    The two spacecrafts are the Little Engines That Could !!


    December 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  81. Liqmaticus

    That's just awesome.

    December 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Rob

      V'ger = Rockstar

      December 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  82. Josh

    When does Voyager 1 and 2's atomic power run out?

    December 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Greg

      The major scientific instruments will start being shut down around 2020, and they won't have power to run any instruments somewhere between 2025-2030. A few experiments have already been completed and shut down.

      December 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • art

      I read somewhere it's power can last 50 years.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:06 pm |

    I'm sure NASA is as suprised as any of us that the Voyagers are still truckin' along through space 34 years later. See what happens when things are MADE IN AMERICA!

    December 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Rob

      Haha YEAH BABY Hulk Hogan and FREEDOM

      December 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Dana

      WERE made in America. Damn Shame that nobody cares anymore.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Surprised? They were designed for operations through 2025, what's so surprising?

      December 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Levi

      That thing will be "truckin along" even when the power is drained. that is the nature of an airless void. Unless it hits something that thing can fly forever. It's basic physics

      December 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Snow

      Ya.. and Michelle Bachman and Newt Gringitch are also born and bred americans.. what does that tell ya..

      December 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  84. mikel

    If they can build a ship that travels 11billion miles iin 30 yrs, why can't they make my toaster last more than a few months....

    December 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Josh

      Did you ever think it is you?

      Voyagers would not have lasted 6 months if my kid used them.

      December 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
      • Chuck

        "Did you ever think it is you?"

        Exactly. Left alone in space, things seem to work fine.

        December 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • P

      1. its made in china
      2. Because corparation wants your money more and more

      December 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Robert

      Your toaster is made in China

      December 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Jack

      Because no one will pay $865 million for a 30-year toaster...

      December 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Glenn

      Because no one stuck a fork in it.

      December 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Nemo

      Your toaster was not meant to drift/fly in space while cooking pop-tarts. =) ..

      December 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Tom in Santa Fe

      I kid you not – My Wife and I replaced my "Goldstar" brand microwave oven a couple of months ago. It finally died. My ex-Wife and I received it as a gift back in March 1994 – 17-1/2 years it lasted and it probably worked as hard as the Voyagers.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  85. Sybaris

    "Vger wants to join with the creator!"

    December 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  86. Rob

    Voyager rocks

    December 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  87. Steve

    V'ger come home!

    December 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Aletheya

      First it has to learn all that is learnable.

      December 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
      • chris m

        V'ger must merge with its creator.

        December 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  88. Jeff

    Great, now all the hungry aliens out there can trace it back to this all you can buffett............munch munch

    December 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Fug Xu

      Heh, I doubt we'd be very tasty to them...humans give off all kinds of funk. We'd be nasty meatbags to them.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
      • driranek

        Maybe... but what if they have pets?

        December 6, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Levi

      I think they would be much more interested in our "goldielox zone" planet. They would do better just destroying us (humans only) and living on earth themselves. Well if aliens weren't just part of the great deception...

      December 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      We'll make great pets, though.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  89. Aaron

    Is this thing still sending back info? Why can't they build cars like this?

    December 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • haha

      Many people still have cars from the 60/70s

      December 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
      • Aletheya

        Yeah, but they haven't been running this long without regular maintenance and visits to the mechanic.

        December 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
      • Grandpa RD

        I totally agree with you guys about the cars of today. I wouldn't know HOW to even diagnose a problem with these modern pieces of crap, and that's why our 2 cars are vehicles I can work on and fix myself. We own a 1941 Cadillac series 62 that my wife drives, and I drive a 1964 Ford Ranchero with a 170 CI 6 cylinder with a 3 speed three on the tree. 3 on the tree for you younger folks means it has a manual 3 speed transmission that is shifted from the column.
        Both of our cars are in such a shape that we could get into them at any time and drive cross country in the US with no worries. I carry my own tools, and a breakdown would be taken care of by me.
        Today, it's a shame that 99.99% of drivers don't even know how to change a burnt out LIGHT BULB let alone how to rebuild a flathead V8 engine. Kind of sad, don't you think?

        December 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Peter

      How many cars from the 60s/70s can you compare it to, that cost $250 million + ???

      You get what you pay for.

      December 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
      • Darin

        My 99 Toyota 4Runner has almost 200K on her. She has only been in the shop once for something unexpected. Other than that it has been oil changes, brakes, battery and tires.

        December 6, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Dana

      Planned Obsolescence – of Humanity!

      December 6, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  90. xdougx

    Way cool, but do you think any aliens will find it and trace its origins back to Earth. That could be bad.

    December 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Peter

      when they stop laughing at the crudeness of the technology, yes...

      December 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Aletheya

      They can already find us by homing in on our radio and t.v. transmissions.

      December 6, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
      • sameeker

        I have often wondered what aliens will think of us when they see our TV broadcasts.

        December 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
      • wpgguy

        And once they get a glimpse of "Reality" TV they're gonna come here and fry us all.

        December 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
      • toxictown

        They will think Kim Kardashian is our god (ess).

        December 6, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
      • Nemo

        Our 'first' strongest radio waves have not traveled much beyond the last planet in our solar system. So we're still safe for now, no one knows we're here... which is sad.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • K4

      Not to worry – Any aliens that are close enough to detect it *already* know where it came from.

      For some scale perspective. Drop a penny on your desk. If that represents our Sun, then in that scale, Earth is roughly 6-7 ft from the penny. Jupiter is appx 35 ft from the penny and Voyager is about 800 ft from the penny.

      The next closest star? 350 MILES from the penny...

      Any aliens that can detect Voyager will be knocking on the proverbial door shortly... 😉

      December 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • sonic10158

      Either Voyager I or Voyager II included a map for aliens to find Earth. Or maybe both did, I can't remember exactly.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
      • Three Dog Mama

        The first Voyager had drawings.

        December 7, 2011 at 8:39 am |
  91. Kewl


    December 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  92. Vern

    Now that is cool. 30 years and still working.

    December 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • One Day

      Sounds like me

      December 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
      • marco

        nicely said.. HAHA loved the comment

        December 6, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
      • Zeb

        Ah, but your warranty ran out when you hit 40.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  93. sameeker

    If they wanted it to enter purgatory, they should have sent it to congress.

    December 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • jj

      Then it would have lost all forward momentum, and its polarity would switch, depending on the influence of some cosmic gravity particle called money. (or egonium)

      December 6, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
      • Jon

        Egonium. Isn't that the densest element known?

        December 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • the bob

      that would be entering a black hole.

      December 6, 2011 at 5:26 pm |


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