News from the edge of the solar system

Two years ago, the first human-made object left the solar system. That was Voyager 1. Right now, in late August and early September, it’s also the anniversary of the launching of both Voyagers, way back in 1977. If ever there was an epic journey worthy of Homer, it’s this.

These spacecraft were built to study Jupiter and Saturn and their larger moons. To accomplish this, they were designed to last five years. But we all knew that a rare geometric arrangement of the outer planets would unfold from 1977 to 1989, which could let a . . .


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