Real-time distance and velocity data is provided by NASA and JPL. At a distance of 152.2 AU (22.8 billion km; 14.1 billion mi) from Earth as of January 12, 2020, it is the most distant human-made object from Earth.
Voyager 1 is the furthest away but is still within the region dominated by the Sun and its solar wind and is still considered to be within the solar system. Both spacecraft have, however, passed the farthest known planets within our solar system – when Voyager 2 passed Neptune in 1989.
Voyager 2 was launched on August 20, 1977 —16 days before its twin, Voyager 1, which exited the solar system’s northern hemisphere in 2012.
Voyager 2 is now in its extended mission to study Interstellar Space and has been operating for 43 years, 6 months and 11 days as of March 4, 2021. It remains in contact through the NASA Deep Space Network.
Voyager 1 was launched in 1977, passed the orbit of Pluto in 1990, and left the Solar System (in the sense of passing the termination shock) in November 2004. It is now in the Kuiper belt.
Voyager 1, which is zipping along at 38,000 mph (61,000 km/h), is currently 11.7 billion miles (18.8 billion kilometers) from Earth. Voyager 2 took a different route through the solar system and is now 9.5 billion miles (15.3 billion km) from home.
Thousands of years from now, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 will leave our solar system. But their instruments will stop working long before that happens. Voyager 2, looking back. In 1977, NASA launched the twin Voyager spacecraft to probe the outer reaches of our solar system.
Voyager 1 is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. Voyager 1 discovered a thin ring around Jupiter and two new Jovian moons: Thebe and Metis. At Saturn, Voyager 1 found five new moons and a new ring called the G-ring.
Even though Voyager 1 and 2 are now 43 years old and farther from Earth than any other operating spacecraft in history, however, they’re not lost to us yet. The key is through NASA’s Deep Space Network: a collection of radio antennae designed to communicate with humanity’s most distant spacecraft.
Voyager 2 has been traveling through space since its launch in 1977, and is now more than 11.6 billion miles ( 18.8 billion km) from Earth.
Voyager 1 overtook Voyager 2 a few months after launch, on 19 December 1977. Voyager 2 is also moving faster than the probes launched before it, and thus overtook Pioneer 11 in 1997 and will overtake Pioneer 10 sometime in 2021. New Horizons will also likely pass the Pioneer probes, but will need many years to do so.
Traveling at speeds of over 35,000 miles per hour, it will take the Voyagers nearly 40,000 years, and they will have traveled a distance of about two light years to reach this rather indistinct boundary. But there is a more definitive and unambiguous frontier, which the Voyagers will approach and pass through.
Voyager 2 will be on its own until that work is done in January 2021, though the spacecraft will still be able to beam science data home.