Which Spacecraft Will Soon Be The First To Leave Our Solar System?
Answer: Voyager 1
In September of 1977, NASA launched the Voyager 1 space probe on mission to study our solar system and interplanetary space. Since then, the small nuclear-powered probe has been rocketing towards the edges of the solar system, sending us reports and stunning photographs all along the way.
Thanks to Voyager 1 we’ve see close up photos of Jupiter’s spots, volcanic eruptions on Jupiter’s moons, and intimate looks at the rings of Saturn, its moons, and more. By 1990 the probe was far enough away to take a photos of our entire solar system, among those photos is the famous “pale blue dot” photo that shows a very tiny Earth lost in the cosmos.
Right now the probe is farther from Earth than any other man made object has ever ventured. At roughly 11 billion miles away, Voyager 1 is in what NASA describes as a sort of cosmic purgatory, a dead zone between intrasteller and interstellar space where the strength of our Sun’s influence is waning but not yet entirely absent. In the next few years Voyager 1 will punch through the heliosheath, the last vestige of our solar system, and find itself in true interstellar space.