NASA's Voyager 1 becomes first probe to leave solar system, enter interstellar space

CLEVELAND - NASA's Voyager 1 has boldly gone where no spacecraft has gone before. 

The space agency confirmed Friday that the probe is the first ever to leave the solar system and enter interstellar space.

The Voyager 1 was launched from earth 36 years ago. Since 1977, the spacecraft has been on a journey and recently it reached its destination. The probe is about 12 billion miles from the sun. The spacecraft is now floating through what NASA calls the interstellar space, a transitional region between the stars. 

According to NASA, the Voyager 1 actually ventured into interstellar space a year ago, but it was not until recently that scientists had the evidence to prove it.

"We all had hoped this would happen but none of us know how big the heliosphere (region of space dominated by the sun) was we had to get outside of, nor did we have any idea the spacecraft could last 36 years," Mission chief scientist Ed Stone at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Newschannel 5. 

"But really, we've been really lucky that we have such a durable probe that can fly so far from the Earth."

Stone said one day maybe space explorers will catch up with Voyager 1.

"Now, we've started an entirely new mission, a mission to explore what's between the stars," he said.

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