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35-year-old Voyager 1 skirts solar system edge with an 8-track and 68K of memory


Voyager assembly in Hi-Bay I.

With an eight-track tape recorder and 100,000 times less memory than an iPod, Voyager 1 is celebrating its 35th birthday at the edge of the solar system. 

Traipsing through a giant, turbulent, plasma bubble near the fringes, the longest-running, most-distant spacecraft in NASA's history celebrates a launch anniversary on Wednesday. After more than three decades of trekking, the craft is currently flirting with the edge of our system, poised for a precedent-setting puncture to the other side.

Scientists say the milestone is near, but a timeframe for crossing over is unknown.

Expected to be the first manmade object to touch the space between stars, Voyager 1, at more than 11 billion miles from the sun, is already in uncharted celestial territory. Voyager 2, which celebrated its anniversary two weeks ago, is approximately 9 billion miles from the sun.