This is an amazing animation of the trip to Mars:
As exciting as the Mars landing is, there is something as amazing – the United States is leaving the solar system.
Beyond Mars, two unsophisticated tiny probes, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, are the first man-made vehicles to leave our solar system.
Voyager 1 is the first man-made vehicle to leave our solar system and Voyager 2 is right behind. It left Earth 35 years ago.
It is currently at the precipice of the heliopause, 11 billion miles away.
“Voyager results turned Jupiter and Saturn into full, tumultuous worlds, their moons from faint dots into distinctive places, and gave us our first glimpses of Uranus and Neptune up-close. We can’t wait for Voyager to turn our models of the space beyond our sun into the first observations from interstellar space.”
The Voyager 1 probe left on September 5, 1977 and, a few weeks after, its sister scout Voyager 2, to carry out a magnificent tour of all the giant planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptunere. They are equipped with items from Earth including 8 track tapes. They will continue to sent information back to Earth until about 2025.
…They carry printed messages from then US president Jimmy Carter and former UN chief Kurt Waldheim.
There is also a 30-centimetre (12-inch), gold-plated copper record (http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/goldenrec.html), along with a cartridge and a needle to play it with.
The record holds 115 images of life on Earth, recorded in analogue form, and a variety of sounds and snatches of music, from singing pygmy girls, Mozart and Bach to Javanese gamelan and Chuck Berry playing “Johnny B. Goode”.
And there are spoken greetings from Earthlings in 55 languages, beginning with Akkadian — a language spoken in Mesopotomia about 6,000 years ago — and ending with the Chinese dialect of Wu, also including Hittite, Latin and Welsh in between.
In 2004, Voyager 1 crossed a point known as the “termination shock”, where the solar wind — the particles blasted out by the Sun — start to collide with particles that come from beyond the Solar System…