Sep 5th 2012 Curb service
That Mars mission we were talking about a few weeks ago is pretty cool, isn’t it? Rocket-powered sky cranes. A science lab the size of a Volkswagen, wandering around Mars for years blasting stuff with a laser beam and analyzing the debris. Well, there’s something equally cool going on, and it’s in its 35th year. Voyager I and Voyager II, launched in 1977, are approaching interstellar space, the first spacecrafts to do so. It’s difficult to say when, but any time now they will break through the sun-charged bubble that is our solar system and be, literally, among the stars. Scientists will know when this happens, because the Voyagers are carrying instruments that still work and still transmit, instruments that include an eight-track tape recorder for data storage. We will receive information about the cosmos which never before has been accessible. Score one for the old timers.