University of Iowa helps reach interstellar milestone
Plasma wave instrument developed at Iowa key in detecting Voyagers
A spacecraft carrying a plasma wave instrument developed by the University of Iowa in the 1970s has reached an historic milestone in space exploration.Officials say the Voyager I, which launched in 1977 and is about 12 million miles from the sun, is the first-ever man-made object to reach interstellar space. Interstellar space is the region beyond all known planets and Pluto, as well as beyond the influence of the sun's solar winds.
"I think itís one of these achievements and milestones in the history of space flight - to reach and finally get into interstellar space," Donald Gurnett, a UI†space physicist, said speaking from NASA.
NASA announced the discovery on Thursday afternoon, and a report about the data is included in the Sept. 12 online issue of the journal†Science.