NASA's Voyager 1 probe has crossed into the uncharted territory of interstellar space after travelling in space for more than three decades.
The spacecraft is approximately 12 billion miles from Earth and is the first ever human-made object to leave the the solar system, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory said Thursday.
Data collected from Voyager 1 indicate the probe has been wandering for a year through the plasma, a gas-like substance formed in space between the stars.
"It's like the first time a satellite [Sputnik] went beyond Earth's atmosphere to an altitude of some 600 miles; Voyager is now leaving the solar bubble at an altitude of 11.3 billion miles. It's another historic milestone," said APL's Stamatios Krimigis, principal investigator for Voyager's low-energy charged particle instrument.
Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager, said NASA expects to receive fields and particles data from the Voyager through at least 2020.
An analysis of new data from the mission appears in the journal Science.