(Submitted February 24, 1998)
How far has a spacecraft ever gone?
Voyager 1 is the farthest a space probe -- over 10.4 billion km
(over 6.4 billion miles) from the Sun (a bit farther than that from the
Earth - in comparison, the Earth is about 0.1 billion miles from the Sun),
followed by Voyager 2 -- 8 billion km (5 billion mi.) from the
Sun -- as of 1/30/98. Voyager 2 was launched first, in August 1977,
followed by Voyager 1 in Sept. 1977, so they've been traveling for
over 20 years! (see:
In addition to Voyager 1 being the farthest working space probe, it
just recently became the most distant man-made object, surpassing
Pioneer 10. (So, obviously, it's Pioneer 10 and not Voyager 2 that is
the 2nd most distant at this time.) See the press release of Feb 13,
1998, available from http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/news/pressrelease2.html .
Jonathan Keohane, Mark Kowitt and Jim Lochner
for Ask an Astrophysicist
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