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.
Saturn's moon intrigues scientists.
The Voyager 1 space probe, launched in 1977, photographed Saturn and its moons. Titan, with its thick, orange atmosphere, frustrated scientists eager to see the moon's surface.
Sir Patrick Moore is amazed by the detail of Voyager 1's images.
Early in Voyager 1's mission, Sir Patrick Moore and his guest Dr Garry Hunt of University College London discussed some of the probe's findings, which included a ring around Jupiter and images of Jupiter's moons Amalthea, Callisto, Io, Europa and Ganymede. Since Sir Patrick and Dr Hunt spoke, Jupiter has been found to have three faint rings.
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.
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 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.
Voyager 1 is a space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977. Part of the Voyager program to study the outer Solar System, Voyager 1 launched 16 days after its twin, Voyager 2. Having operated for 39 years, 1 month and 22 days, the spacecraft still communicates with the Deep Space Network to receive routine commands and return data. At a distance of 135 AU (2.02×1010 km) from the Sun as of June 2016, it is the farthest spacecraft from Earth.
The probe's primary mission objectives included flybys of Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn's large moon, Titan. While the spacecraft's course could have been altered to include a Pluto encounter by forgoing the Titan flyby, exploration of the moon, which was known to have a substantial atmosphere, took priority. It studied the weather, magnetic fields, and rings of the two planets and was the first probe to provide detailed images of their moons.
After completing its primary mission with the flyby of Saturn on November 20, 1980, Voyager 1 began an extended mission to explore the regions and boundaries of the outer heliosphere. On August 25, 2012, Voyager 1 crossed the heliopause to become the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space and study the interstellar medium.Voyager 1's extended mission is expected to continue until around 2025, when its radioisotope thermoelectric generators will no longer supply enough electric power to operate any of its scientific instruments.