How Far Away is the Voyager Spacecraft?
The title was a trick question. Did you know that there are actually two Voyager Spacecraft and that one of these two probes are farther away from Earth than any other man made object!
The Voyager Spacecraft are actually twins. They were named Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. They were both launched in 1977 and have been traveling toward the edge the solar system ever since. The primary purpose of the Voyager Mission was to study Jupiter and Saturn. Voyager 2 went beyond Saturn and also explored Uranus and Neptune. It passed Neptune on August 25, 1989 and is the only spacecraft that has ever been to those two planets. That was 22 years ago.
Get this – both spacecraft are still working and still transmitting scientific data about their surroundings through the Deep Space Network.
So where are they now and where are they going? Voyager 1’s last stop was Saturn’s moon, Titan. It’s trajectory took it northward out of the ecliptic plane. It’s estimated Voyager 1 is currently about 10 billion miles away from the Sun. That’s about .00183 light years. It’s not traveling directly toward any star and will continue traveling at away from Earth forever until it runs into something.
Voyager 2 is approximately 93 astronomical units or 8.6 billion miles away from the sun. It isn’t heading toward any particular star either. It should pass by Sirius (the Dog Star) in about 296,000 years.