Voyager 1 launched on 5 September 1977, two weeks after its twin, Voyager 2.
The probe made groundbreaking visits to Jupiter and Saturn and their moons before heading out of the ecliptic plane (the plane in which most of the planets orbit the Sun) on a journey that will take it into interstellar space.
Voyager 1 is the most distant manmade object and is still returning information about the Solar System's edge. Like Voyager 2, it carries greetings and a gold record of Earth sounds and music in case an intelligent life form finds it.
Photo: Artist's concept of Voyager (NASA/JPL)
The Earth's ambassador to the stars is far from home.
The probe discovers the most volcanically active body in the Solar System.
NASA scientists were surprised to find that Io is the Solar System's most volcanically active body. The Voyager probes, launched in 1977, showed them Io's numerous volcanoes. The constant sulphur eruptions across Io's surface are powered by Jupiter's strong gravitational attraction, which heats the interior of the moon.
Earth is a tiny blue dot when viewed from the edge of the Solar System.
In 1990, 13 years after leaving the Earth and at a distance of 3.7 billion miles, Voyager 1 turned around to face the Sun and captured images of most of the planets, including the Earth. Voyager scientist Carl Sagan described our planet as a "blue dot".
A student solves the problem of how to reach the outer planets.
Professor Gary Flandro describes how a rare alignment of the outer planets lead to the Voyager missions, launched in 1977. As a summer student he drew maps that were the first steps in a project to send two probes beyond the edge of the Solar System.
The first detailed views of Jupiter surprise Voyager scientists.
Voyager 1, launched in 1977, sent back its first images of Jupiter in the late 1970s while it was still 50 million miles away from the planet. The gas giant's bizarre clouds and storms puzzled experts.
Jupiter's moons aren't the cold, dead worlds the experts expected.
Voyager scientists thought Jupiter's moons would be cold, dead worlds. They were amazed when the first close-up images from the spacecraft revealed four moons, each different from the next. The probes were launched in 1977.
The Voyager 1 spacecraft is a 722 kg (1,590 lb) space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977 to study the outer Solar System and interstellar medium. Operating for 35 years, 7 months, and 27 days as of 2 May 2013, the spacecraft receives routine commands and transmits data back to the Deep Space Network. At a distance of about 124.02 AU (1.855×1010 km) as of April 2013[update], it is the farthest man-made object from Earth and is currently traveling in a previously unknown region of space. It is still unclear whether this region is part of interstellar space or an area within the Solar System.
As part of the Voyager program, and like its sister craft Voyager 2, the spacecraft is in extended mission, tasked with locating and studying the boundaries of the Solar System, including the Kuiper belt, the heliosphere and interstellar space. The primary mission ended on November 20, 1980, after encountering the Jovian system in 1979 and the Saturnian system in 1980. It was the first probe to provide detailed images of the two largest planets and their moons.