recommended reading

Why Voyager 1's Entrance Into Interstellar Space Is Such a Big Deal

This artist rendering hows NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft barreling through space.

This artist rendering hows NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft barreling through space. // NASA/AP

This afternoon, NASA made a big announcement: Its Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched from Earth 36 years ago, has entered interstellar space. Nerds the world over -- your correspondent included -- proceeded to freak out. This is big. 

But why, you ask, does it matter that Voyager 1 is no longer, in the most meaningful way possible, with us? Why should we care that some chunk of metal tooling around millions of miles away from Earth is now sliiiiightly farther from us than it was before?

Because the now-starship Voyager's move into interstellar space represents the passage of a significant benchmark in the annals of human history. It may not be quite Columbus- or Wright- or Armstrong-level in the leap forward it represents, but it's certainly following in those explorers' footsteps as a human accomplishment. We are now, via Voyager, in a new space within space.  We have never traveled this far before. One small step for a spaceship is one giant leap for mankind. 

"It's the farthest thing we've ever sent anywhere," says Neil DeGrasse Tyson in the video above. "Dad would be enormously proud," Nick Sagan, Carl Sagan's son, explains, adding: "It's a great celebration. It's an enormous accomplishment." "We are boldly going," LeVar Burton says, "where no one has gone before." 

Or as Wil Wheaton, unofficial king of the nerds of Earth, sums it up: "This is awesome."

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.