A NASA spacecraft carrying a propulsion system built by the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Aerojet Rocketdyne nearly 40 years ago has entered the space between stars.
Voyager 1 has traveled 11.7 billion miles away from Earth so far and reached speeds of up to 38,000 miles per hours, Aerojet Rocketdyne said Tuesday.
This is the first hydrazine propulsion system to have reached interstellar space, the company says.
“Our company has a very proud history of providing propulsion for the majority of NASA’s Earth, lunar, interplanetary and now interstellar spacecraft,” said Warren Boley Jr., president of Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Aerojet Rocketdyne also built engines for a three-stage rocket that carried Voyager 1 and launched from Cape Canaveral in 1977.
The GenCorp subsidiary also built the operational propulsion system for Voyager 2, which was launched before Voyager 1.