10 Cool Facts About The Voyager 1 Space Probe

What were you doing back in 1977? Were you alive? Do you remember that time period? Well, in September of 1977 NASA was about to embark on one of the greatest and most successful missions of its existence.

September 5, 1977 the Voyager 1 Space Probe was sent into space on the Titan IIIE rocket to study the outer Solar System and then see where things go from there.

At the time of this post, it’s been roughly 38 years and 2 months since that fateful day and the Voyager 1 Space Probe continues to communicate with the Deep Space Network and transmit data from the furthest realms of the Solar System.

In honor of this spacecraft, the single further object ever sent out into space by mankind, we’ve put together a list of 10 Cool Facts About The Voyager 1 Space Probe.

#10 – Voyager 1 Cool Fact: The Farthest Spacecraft from Earth

The Voyager 1 Space Probe is the farthest spacecraft ever launched from Earth. As of today, the Voyager 1 space probe is the only spacecraft to have made it beyond the Solar System and into interstellar space.

After more than 38 years in the outer space, Voyager 1 is still sending data back to Earth and receiving routine commands from the Deep Space Network



“Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex – general view (2174403243)” by Ryan Wick from Canberra, Australia – Canberra Deep Space Communication CenterUploaded by Parkes. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons – https://goo.gl/yo1f0E


The mission Voyager 1 has been tasked with is to study the outer space. The Voyager 1 has spent a great deal of time performing flybys of Saturn, Jupiter and Titan – Saturn’s largest moon.

One of the most exciting and more notable achievements made by Voyager 1 includes studying the rings, magnetic fields and weather on both Jupiter and Saturn, capturing and sending detailed images of their moons back to Scientists and Astronomers here on Earth.

#9 – Voyager 1 Cool Fact: Beyond Interstellar Space

In 2012, Voyager 1 became the first spacecraft to travel beyond the limits of interstellar space and crossed through the heliopause. With great anticipation, Voyager 1 immediately began studying the famous interstellar medium and sending data back to Earth.

Best estimates have the Voyager 1 Space Probe in working condition until around 2025. At this time, the Voyager 1 Space Probe’s thermoelectric generators will no longer work.



“Titan 3E with Voyager 1” by NASA – http://goo.gl/4A0NFr. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://goo.gl/uU7UIT


At the Space Probe’s current distance from earth. its signal take around 18 hours to finally reach the Earth. Another amazing feat for Voyager 1 is the discovery of volcanic activity in Jupiter’s moon Io; which was a very welcomed and shocking surprise.

In fact, this was the first time volcanic activity has been found on another astronomical body in the Solar System other than here on Earth.

#8 – Voyager 1 Cool Fact: Travelling at 38,000 Miles per Hour

Yeah, that’s right, the Voyager 1 Space Probe is one of the fasted moving man-made objects in space! It travels at a little more than 38,000 miles per hour!

Despite how fast the Voyager 1 Space Probe is traveling, it’s barely left the Solar System and we’re decades after its launch.

Something to keep in mind, it will take Voyager 1 nearly 300 years to reach the famous Oort Cloud and it’ll take around 30,000 years just to go from the entry point of the Oort Cloud ring to the exit.


Image by NASA, http://goo.gl/IPMjng

Image by NASA, http://goo.gl/IPMjng


If you think the Voyager 1 moves fast relative to astronomical objects, think again! The star Gliesse 445 is racing towards our Solar System at nearly 266,000 miles per hour!

One last tidbit to chew on, NASA speculates that the Voyager 1 Space Probe might wander around the Milky Way eternally. What a life!

#7 – Voyager 1 Cool Fact: Golden Record

The Voyager 1 carries a golden record with song mixes, a speech from the President of the United States, a baby cry and even music from Mozart and other masters.



“Record is attached to Voyager 1” by Unknown – http://goo.gl/Npab6K. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://goo.gl/R9z91V


This is a gold-plated disc created with a unique purpose: to be a useful device if the Voyager 1 Space Probe is ever found by other intelligent beings from other planetary system.




#6 – Voyager 1 Cool Fact: Billions of Miles from Earth

The Voyager 1 Space Probe has an unthinkable distance from Earth of roughly 12,427,423,844 miles. This distance only increases every second and at an immaculate pace.

In fact, the Voyager 1 Space Probe has been exploring places that no other spacecraft has ever gone before. Voyager 1 is further away from the Sun than Pluto, which is amazing to think that mankind has achieved the ability to send objects out of our Solar System.



“Interstellar probes (cropped)” by NASA – http://goo.gl/gpZgPI; see also http://goo.gl/0Zu9Cp (image link). Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://goo.gl/85msB4


Right now Voyager 1 is traveling into the great area Astronomers refer to as interstellar space, which is a region define as the space between stars. Interstellar space is filled with a plethora of various materials produced when a star dies.

#5 – Voyager 1 Space Probe Cool Fact: A Very Comprehensive Job Well Done

The Voyager 1 Space Probe, along with its cousin, the Voyager 2 Space Probe, have both studied each of the giant and gas planets in our Solar System. The giant planets included Jupiter and Saturn, and the gas planets include Uranus and Neptune.

In addition to this exciting accomplishment, both of these Space Probes have studied a variety of each of these massive planet’s moons. Another important aspect of the Voyager’s missions was to study the unique and awesome system of magnetic fields and rings around these outer objects.



“Crescent Saturn as seen from Voyager 1” by NASA – http://goo.gl/U6ZED3. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://goo.gl/5qgosw


In fact, the Voyager 1 Space Probe is one of the few probes to go beyond the planets in our massive Solar System. By passing Pioneer 10, another Space Probe, Voyager 1 has become the most-distant spacecraft ever to be launched into the outer space.

#4 – Voyager 1 Space Probe Cool Fact: Astonishing Data Collected and Transmitted

The Voyager 1 Space Probe is continuously gathering and collecting scientific data about the outer space and transmitting it back to Earth.

The scientific data the Voyager 1 Space Probe has provided us with has proven over and over again to be some of the most useful information for Scientists and Astronomers to study and better understand the outer Solar System and the brink of interstellar space.



“Voyager1 Space simulator” by NASA – http://goo.gl/BKB4PE. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://goo.gl/kTyx1h


A few examples include, an investigation into magnetic fields, how low energy particles change and another one about cosmic rays.

Additional information collected and transmitted by the Voyager 1 Space Probe includes the gathering of data around plasma and plasma waves, as well as the sub-system of the ultraviolet spectrometer.

#3 – Voyager 1 Space Probe Cool Fact: Incredibly Strong Cameras

A space probe wouldn’t be of much value if it wasn’t able to take and collect images from great distances. The Voyager 1 Space Probe is no different and has camera’s that would blow your mind today – much less in 1977 when it launched.

As an example, Voyager 1’s incredibly sharp cameras could read a magazine headline at an astonishing distance of over half a mile!



“Voyager” by NASA – NASA website. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://goo.gl/yNEP4F


The Voyager 1 Space Probe has been recording images of a volcano called Pele, which is found on a moon of Saturn. This volcano has been throwing sulfur at a height of nearly thirty times that of the famous Mount Everest eruption.

Additionally, its fallout zone is so large, it’s roughly the size of the country of France. In contrast, the Mount St. Helen’s eruptions are just hiccups compared to Pele’s.

Voyager 1 has also been instrumental in learning more about Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. Now Scientists and Astronomers know that Titan is like a small Earth that has reached an ice age and are extremely excited to study this discovery in further detail.

#2 – Voyager 1 Space Probe Cool Fact: Tens of Thousands of Parts

If you think your shaggin’ wagon has tons of parts, think again. The Voyager 1 Space Probe has nearly 65,000 individual parts.

In addition, many of these parts are comprised in turn of an even larger amount of even smaller parts. For example, one of Voyager 1’s computer memories contains around a million electronic parts.



“Voyager Program – spacecraft diagram” by NASA/JPL – “Diagram: Spacecraft diagram”, Voyager Bulletin, no. 13, Link. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://goo.gl/H3mpH1


The complexity of Voyager 1’s electronic circuit system can be compared to that of nearly 2,000 television sets. The computer system inside the Voyager 1 Space Probe is one of the most complex and effective computers ever created for a Space Probe in the history NASA.

#1 – Voyager 1 Space Probe Cool Fact: A Million Miles a Day

Voyager 1 has been travelling nearly a million miles per day (912,000 miles, give or take) since its launch decades ago. At that speed and that distance, the Voyager 1 Space Probe needs a lot of features to protect its integrity when traveling alone through the abyss of outer space.

The Voyager 1 has the ability to automatically program itself to rest in a safe state within seconds of detected danger. This amazing feature (even for back in 1977) is paramount for its survival and longevity.



Photo by NASA, http://goo.gl/Fn4zzw


In fact, Some argue that the Voyager 1 Space Probe is the single greatest feat undertaken by NASA in the exploration of outer space.

The Voyager 1 Space Probe has been traveling through space at nearly 38,000 miles per hour for the last 38 years. Though, the original plan from NASA was to simply end its mission within 4 years of launch, the little Voyager 1 Space Probe that could just keeps on chugging along.

There’s no question that the Voyager 1 Space Probe has far exceeded everyone’s expectations. Some say it’s the best use of monies by NASA, ever. Voyager 1 took a “family portrait” of the Solar System from around 4,000,000,000 miles away from Earth, what a sight.

However, in 2025 the Voyager 1 will not longer work and will remain dormant for eternity. Nonetheless, the Voyager 1 Space Probe has done an immaculate job and we in another decade, all we can do is hope that one day intelligent beings will find one of the greatest achievements of mankind; the Voyager 1 Space Probe.



Featured Image: “Voyager spacecraft” by NASA/JPL – http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/display.cfm?IM_ID=2194 (file). Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Voyager_spacecraft.jpg#/media/File:Voyager_spacecraft.jpg

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    • Hey Mckinzie,

      That’s so awesome, I’m flattered to be of help.

      Good luck on your project and keep me posted on how you did!

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