It’s hard to overstate the milestone: At some point in the near future — it could be days or months, possibly, but not likely even a few years — Voyager is expected to break away from the bubble of particles emitted by the Sun encasing our solar system and enter the totally new, completely unexplored region of interstellar space, the black void separating us from the other star systems in our Milky Way Galaxy.
If there's intelligent life within 100 light years of our planet, it's likely they've already gotten an earful (or antennae-ful, or whatever analogous organ-ful) of our radio and TV shows, which have been leaking into space since we first started broadcasting them. Scientists have also sent messages, images and even phonograph records into space in order to show E.T. that humanity isn't just about 'The Lone Ranger' and 'I Love Lucy.'
A look back at Voyagers' journey through the solar system
The unmanned Voyager 1 and 2 probes were launched in 1977 on a mission to visit all the outer planets of the solar system. After 35 years in space, the twin probes are approaching the edge of our solar system.