Western countries, primarily Europe and the United States, in the early 2030s can launch the Interstellar spacecraft, partially repeating the tasks of the mission of the Voyager-1 and Voyager-2 that left the solar system, reports the European Union of Geosciences.
It is noted that 15 years after the launch of Interstellar will be at a distance of about 1000 astronomical units from the Sun, that is, in interstellar space. The scientific program of the mission is designed for at least 50 years. Among the tasks of Interstellar are, in particular, the study of the interaction of the solar wind with interstellar gas, as well as the Sun with the Galaxy.
Voyager 1 and 2 were the only man-made objects to leave the solar system. The spacecraft are identical, the launch mass of one station (together with hydrazine) is 815 kilograms. When unfolded, the apparatus is placed in a cube with a side of four meters. Voyager 2 launched in August 1977, 16 days earlier than Voyager 1. The vehicles, in addition to scientific equipment, carry messages from humanity to possible alien civilizations. It is believed that radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) will allow Voyager 1 and 2 to keep in touch with Earth until about 2027.
The boundaries of the solar system are defined in two ways: by the heliosphere (the magnetic analogue of the atmosphere of planets) and the Hill sphere (the region with the determining gravitational influence of the central celestial body). For the Sun, the radius of the Hill sphere is estimated at one to two light years. According to the first definition, Voyager 1 and 2 left the solar system, according to the second – no.