Voyager 1 will record data about conditions in interstellar space, which is thought to be much less dense than the heliosphere. It could also help us communicate with any alien life-forms it might encounter. The probe has been fitted with the Golden Record, a disc with a “variety of natural sounds”; “musical selections from different culture and eras”; and “spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages.”
The Voyger-1 mission will end when its batteries run out. It’s estimated that Voyager 1 has enough power to send signals back to Earth until around 2025, but its primary scientific instruments will begin shutting down in 2020. The signals take 16 hours to reach Earth now. It’s remarkable that NASA interplanetray scientists are still receiving new data from this relic of the 1970s. It’s “a 33-year-old dog that’s still learning new tricks,” says one commentator.
Will “V’Ger” come home in 2277 from a Star Trek?