In August, we noted how researchers from the University of Maryland stirred up some controversy when they said evidence now indicates that the Voyager 1 spacecraft–launched in 1977–has left the Solar System and is cruising around interstellar space complete with a gold plated record detailing man’s existence intended for extraterrestrials. NASA announced on Thursday that they now agree with this assessment:
Now that we have new, key data, we believe this is mankind’s historic leap into interstellar space,” said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. “The Voyager team needed time to analyze those observations and make sense of them. But we can now answer the question we’ve all been asking — ‘Are we there yet?’ Yes, we are.
Scientists were apparently able to determine the transition into interstellar space by listening to the the “electron plasma oscillations” that were picked up Voyager’s onboard instrumentation. It sounded like this:
Meanwhile, in more mainstream consumptive space news, a frog unwittingly photobombed the launch of the LADEE spacecraft last Friday at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.