The Voyager 2 spacecraft has reached a significant symbolic milestone, moving away from Earth to a distance exceeding 20 billion kilometers. This information is provided on NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory website, which tracks the spacecraft’s position and speed.
The Voyager 2 probe was launched in 1977. To date, it remains the only Earth traveler in history that closely investigated four giant planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Furthermore, since its epochal journey, no other spacecraft has visited Uranus or Neptune. After passing Neptune, Voyager 2 gained enough speed to leave the Solar System forever. In 2018, it became the second functioning spacecraft in history to enter interstellar space (the first being its twin, Voyager 1). NASA still keep contact with Voyager 2, which continues to transmit data from its five operational scientific instruments. However, recently the control center was close to losing contact with the spacecraft. Fortunately, the issue was swiftly resolved.
On August 27th, the spacecraft, which recently marked its 46th birthday, achieved a highly symbolic milestone. It moved away from our planet to a distance exceeding 20 billion kilometers. Currently, it takes 18 hours, 31 minutes, and 56 seconds for a signal sent from Earth to reach it. The same amount of time is needed to hear Voyager 2’s response. Next year, Voyager 2 will achieve another remarkable feat. It will “overtake” the Pioneer 10 probe, becoming the second farthest space probe from Earth.