Unless you work for NASA or have a Ph.D. in physics, it is highly unlikely that you have any understanding of how the universe works. In fact, even those who are classed as experts aren’t always sure about what’s really going on outside our Pale Blue Dot.

As you commence with your daily routine, it is easy to forget that beyond this Earth is a whole, relatively unexplored universe. However, that could be all about to change as NASA was able to communicate with a space probe that’s 13 billion miles away from home.

Voyager 1 was launched by NASA on September 5, 1977, as part of the Voyager program which aimed to study the solar system. During this mission, the probe, along with its twin Voyager 2, observed Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

However, its journey wasn’t to end there…

In 1998, Voyager 1 overtook Pioneer 10 as the most distant spacecraft from Earth, as it traveled at 17 kilometers (11 miles) per second through space. Now 40 years later, scientists have once again begun to collect data from the space probe, which inhabits interstellar space.

However, NASA recently hit a major stumbling block when it came to their continued use of  Voyager 1. They needed to carry out maintenance repairs on the space probe but given that it is 13 billion miles away from Earth, this wasn’t going to be a simple task.