• Question: how far have we ever sent a satellite?

    Asked by will to Simon, Julia, Delma, Andrew, Alex on 17 Dec 2015.
    • Photo: Alexander Finch

      Alexander Finch answered on 17 Dec 2015:

      Well, satellites are technically things in orbit around something – usually the Earth! The furthest satellite is therefore, technically, either the two STEREO spacecraft (which monitor the sun from a special place called the Lagrange points), or the high-altitude Vela satellites.

      But that’s not a very interesting answer! Much further away from us than any satellites are the interplanetary probes that visit the rest of the solar system. Of these, five have left the solar system, with the furthest being Voyager 1, which has been travelling 38 years – and is still working!