01 August 2019

Postcard from Space. The endless journey of the Voyager 2 probe

It left the Solar System on 5th November 2018, but will continue to communicate with the Earth

Hi everyone, I am Voyager 2. I belong to the family of space machines, to all effects I’m an unmanned spaceship.

Like the Argonauts and with the help of the stars, I have crossed most of the solar system, sailing for over 18 billion km. I have worked hard, sending you a lot of data. I have brushed against Jupiter and Saturn to get started and point towards Uranus and Neptune. Since last November, I have crossed the heliosphere, the solar system’s Pillars of Hercules, and roam in interstellar space after a long journey that began in 1977.

Now I rest contemplating the constellations of Orion, Scorpio and Capricorn, and all the other stars of the sky in this darkness of blinding light.

I miss the Earth, but I console myself with the indescribable spectacle of these stars: priceless company.

Best wishes,

Voyager 2

Interstellar Voyager 1 GIF

Cover image:

Nicole Voltan, 759 a.C. 88, La colonna, (detail) 2017
Courtesy of Galleria Mucciaccia Contemporary
Photo credits: Simon D'Exea

The NASA Voyager 2 space probe was launched from Cape Canaveral (Florida) on 20th August 1977, for the exploration of Jupiter (and its four Galilean moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto), Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. In 1989, the mission was extended and renamed the Voyager Interstellar Mission, for the exploration of the external borders of the Solar System. The probe, still in operation, carries on board gilded copper phonographic records on which information about our planet is recorded (including a variety of natural sounds and musical pieces from different eras and cultures). From the data received, Voyager 2 left the Solar System on 5th November 2018, but will be able to continue to communicate with the Earth, even if its messages take more than a day to arrive.

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