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#Voyager 2 launched 41 years ago reaches interstellar space

After 41 years of traveling through the solar system, the Voyager 2 probe arrived in an area of ​​space where no longer blows the wind of the sun, 18 billion kilometers from Earth, NASA said Monday. At this extraordinary distance, each message of Voyager 2 takes 16 and a half hours to reach Earth, while, for example, the communication time at the speed of light with Mars is 8 minutes. The confirmation that Voyager 2 has left the heliosphere - protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun - and that it has already crossed the heliopause - limit beyond which the solar wind no longer arrives - was great news for The NASA. Technically, however, the probe remains in the solar system, whose boundary is established in the confines of the Oort cloud, well beyond Pluto, and which NASA compares with a "big bubble around the solar system." This cloud, probably composed of billions of frozen bodies, remains under the influence of the sun's gravity, and Voyager 2 would still need another 30 thousand years to pass through it. It is the longest active mission of the US space agency, and its instruments continue to send observations to this day. As it continued to operate after flying over Neptune, NASA continued with the mission, but the engineers turned off their cameras to save energy. In 2012 it became the longest and most mythical mission of the space agency. Its twin probe, Voyager 1, which left Earth 16 days later, reached interstellar space in 2012 and also continued to function, but one of its crucial instruments for measuring the solar wind, known as the Plasma Science Experiment, broke down in 1980. The two probes are going "very well," said Suzanne Dodd, director of the department that deals with interplanetary communications of the agency. According to her, they could still last five or six more years, since their only limit is the progressive loss of capacity of their radioisotope generator, which provides the energy necessary for the disintegration of radioactive materials. Each one of them carries recordings of Earth sounds and images on gold and copper plates, and even if they were off, the devices would still potentially travel for billions of years with their disks, "temporary capsules that could one day be the last remains of human civilization, "says NASA in its statement.

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