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This artist's concept depicts NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft entering interstellar space, or the space between stars.NASA/JPL-Caltech

Two messengers -- Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft-- launched by NASA  will complete its 40th anniversary on September 5. 

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Here are some interesting facts about the spacecraft:

  1. Both the messengers were sent to space by NASA in late August and early September of 1977 to explore the space beyond Earth with an aim to travel as swiftly and as far as possible to investigate the cosmic regions untouched by any other spacecraft before.
  2. The messengers have travelled over 48,280.32 kilometres (30,000 miles) per hour every day in space, unlike any other man-made craft.
  3. NASA astronomers had launched Voyager 2 before Voyager 1 spacecraft. Voyager 2 craft is travelling at a speed of 55345.340 km per hour (34,390 miles per hour), it is present at a distance of 17240902272 km (10.713 billion miles) from the Sun. It is yet to reach the interstellar space.
  4. The velocity at which Voyager 1 is travelling is slightly more than that of Voyager 2, it is 61196.915 km per hour (38,026 miles per hour) and is present at a distance of 20879629056 km (12.974 billion miles) from the Sun. The spacecraft is present in the interstellar space at a distance of 20921472000 kilometres (13 billion miles) from Earth.
  5. The spacecraft have explored the giant planets present in our outer solar system which includes

- Gas-giants -- Jupiter and Saturn

- Ice-giants -- Uranus and Neptune

- Their 48 moons

- The ring systems and magnetic fields of these planets

6. The spacecraft discovered active volcanoes beyond Earth on Jupiter's fourth Galilean moon Io and brought to light that the moon is not 'geologically dead' like the scientists had speculated. Active volcanoes on the other moons of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune were also explored by the craft.

7. The first sign of the presence of ocean beyond Earth on Jupiter's moon Europa was discovered by the Voyager spacecraft.

Meanwhile, Voyager 1 is preparing to go to its next destination – a star dubbed 'AC +79 3888'. It will take a span of 40,000 years for Voyager 1 to reach the star.

Voyager 2's next destination is farther away – star Sirius –which the craft would reach in around 300,000 years.

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory