What is the farthest in space that we have gone? (Beginner)

Where is the farthest in space that we went up to? A galaxy? Another solar system?

The farthest in space that humans have gone is the moon, most recently during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.

The farthest that any object made by humans has gone is slightly outside of our own solar system (farther out than any of the planets, that is, but still within the reach of the sun's influence). According to NASA, as of January 2001 the Voyager 1 mission (originally launched in 1977 to study the outer planets) was 12 billion kilometers from the sun (around 80 times the Earth-Sun distance) and moving away at a rate of several hundred million kilometers per year.

Update from Ann: As of June 2015, Dave's answer above is still true for human exploration of space. Voyager 1, though, is still out there hurtling through space in its 38th year of operation. Voyager 1 even still communicates with us on Earth! Currently, Voyager 1 is about 130 times the Earth-Sun distance, or 19.5 billion kilomers from home. Not only is Voyager 1 the furthest spacecraft from Earth, it's also now officially the only spacecraft to have ever left the solar system. Voyager 1 crossed the region known as the "heliopause" starting in 2012, and is now considered to truly be in interstellar space.

Page last updated on June 22, 2015, by Ann Martin.

About the Author

Dave Rothstein

Dave is a former graduate student and postdoctoral researcher at Cornell who used infrared and X-ray observations and theoretical computer models to study accreting black holes in our Galaxy. He also did most of the development for the former version of the site.

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