Voyager 1 has become the first spacecraft to leave the solar system, slipping out of the known realm into the vast regions of interstellar space, scientists said. The next time Voyager 1 nears an object -- in this case a star -- will be 40,000 years from now. "In leaving the [solar system] and setting sail on the cosmic seas between the stars, Voyager has joined the other historic journeys of exploration such as the first circumnavigation of the Earth and the first footprint on the moon," said Voyager project scientist Ed Stone.

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