Dr Carolyn Porco is one of the world's leading planetary scientists and was part of the Voyager-1 imaging team. She helped Carl Sagan set up Voyager's famous "Pale Blue Dot" portrait of Earth when the probe had reached beyond Neptune in 1990. Here, she reflects on what it means to see the veteran craft finally make the leap to interstellar space.
It is a momentous occasion. We know now with certainty that the Voyager spacecraft, launched 36 years ago to spend the 1980s touring the outer solar system, has finally slipped beyond the protective magnetic bubble created by our Sun and into the nothingness of interstellar space.
Such an event happens for the first time in human history only once. And as reported in a publication today in the journal Science, it happened last summer.
Voyager was a mission of mythic proportions, with all the elements of Homeric legend, and I was unspeakably fortunate to have been a part of it.
I was young then, right out of graduate school, and somehow found myself a member of the imaging team and hitching a ride on the greatest journey of scientific exploration humanity had ever undertaken.
Written By: Carolyn Porcocontinue to source article at bbc.co.uk