Voyager 1

space probe launched by NASA to study the outer Solar System, furthest spacecraft from Earth

Voyager 1 is a space probe used by NASA to explore Jupiter and Saturn. It is the same in form to its sister spacecraft, Voyager 2.

Voyager 1
Model of a small-bodied spacecraft with a large, central dish and many arms and antennas extending from it
Model of the Voyager spacecraft design
Mission typeOuter planetary, heliosphere, and interstellar medium exploration
OperatorNASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory
COSPAR ID1977-084A[1]
SATCAT no.10321[2]
Mission duration
  • 46 years, 9 months and 7 days elapsed
  • Planetary mission: 3 years, 3 months, 9 days
  • Interstellar mission: 43 years, 5 months and 29 days elapsed (continuing)
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerJet Propulsion Laboratory
Launch mass825.5 kg (1,820 lb)
Power470 watts (at launch)
Start of mission
Launch dateSeptember 5, 1977, 12:56:00 (1977-09-05UTC12:56Z) UTC
RocketTitan IIIE
Launch siteCape Canaveral Launch Complex 41
Flyby of Jupiter
Closest approachMarch 5, 1979
Distance349,000 km (217,000 mi)
Flyby of Saturn
Closest approachNovember 12, 1980
Distance124,000 km (77,000 mi)
Flyby of Titan (atmosphere study)
Closest approachNovember 12, 1980
Distance6,490 km (4,030 mi)

Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1977, to study the outer planets of the Solar System. It is now in an extended mission. Its encounter with Saturn and Titan sent it on a hyperbolic trajectory out of the solar system, traveling at 17 km/s (38,000 mph; 61,000 km/h) which is much faster than the escape velocity, meaning Voyager 1 is able to escape the solar system.

Voyager 1's research team announced on August 25, 2012 that it had left the solar system. It passed out of the heliosphere and into interstellar space. It's the most distant man-made object. On February 17, 1998, Voyager 1 became the Earth's farthest spacecraft from the Earth, when it overtook Pioneer 10 at a total distance of 70 AU, which is 6.5 billion miles from the Sun. It's also the first man-made object to leave the solar system. As of September 20, 2021, it was 14,300,000,000 miles (2.30×1010 km) from Earth.[3]

Both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 include the Voyager Golden Record, which is a recording of sounds and images of life on Earth. It was designed by a team headed by Carl Sagan to communicate with extraterrestrial life.

Pictures taken from the spacecraft: In 1990, a photograph (known as the Pale Blue Dot), was taken of the Earth.[4]



  1. "Voyager 1". NSSDC Master Catalog. NASA/NSSDC. Archived from the original on December 14, 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  2. "Voyager 1". N2YO. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  3. "Jet Propulsion Voyager". 1 January 2020.
  4. Retrieved 2023-12-28