It is a momentous occasion. We know now with certainty that the Voyager spacecraft, launched 36 years ago to spend the 1980s touring the outer solar system, has finally slipped beyond the protective magnetic bubble created by our Sun and into the nothingness of interstellar space.

Such an event happens for the first time in human history only once. And as reported in a publication today in the journal Science, it happened last summer.

Voyager was a mission of mythic proportions, with all the elements of Homeric legend, and I was unspeakably fortunate to have been a part of it.

I was young then, right out of graduate school, and somehow found myself a member of the imaging team and hitching a ride on the greatest journey of scientific exploration humanity had ever undertaken.