Voyager: Outward bound
Ed Stone has spent 36 years guiding the twin Voyager spacecraft through the Solar System. Next stop, interstellar space.
The 44 notebooks lined up neatly in Ed Stone’s office span just half a metre of shelf space. But inside these journals, in meticulous black printing, Stone has chronicled the longest journey that humans have ever launched.
Since they left Earth in 1977, the twin Voyager spacecraft have conducted pioneering explorations of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, revealing these gas giants and their moons to be far more active than scientists had expected. Now the two probes are cruising towards the edge of the Solar System — a boundary that has yet to be crossed by any emissary from Earth.
Image Courtesy: Nik Spencer/Nature