Who would have ever thought September 1977, 36 years ago, that something created here on Earth would one day travel far beyond our world.
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Who would have ever thought September 1977, 36 years ago, that something created here on Earth would one day travel far beyond our world.
"It's a tremendous accomplishment and a great feeling to know we actually did it," said Dr. Torrence Johnson, a Senior Research Scientist with JPL and NASA. He was part of the Voyager One Team.
"It was really nice to hear this, this was one of our long term goals that we set for ourselves almost 40 years ago," he said.
A scientific leap-forward. But there is another story of great strides to be told back here on Earth. Johnson said it was striking during the mission how what was at first a male-dominated project evolved.
"Many of the people working on programming the Voyager for doing the things we did at Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus were women getting into science for the first time," he said.
Women who he says got advanced degrees and are now in leadership roles on current missions.
"I really like physics because it's very math based," said Chippewa Falls Senior Emily Gullerud. She is beginning to plan her future and sees science in it.
"Maybe helping scientists work on their math problems for what they're working on," she said.
She knows it is traditionally been a field filled with men but is seeing more girls getting into it. So is her teacher, Nick Gagnon, who says the numbers vary year to year.
"In my highest level of physics which is calculus based physics, it is a 50-50 mix," Gagnon said.
"It's nice to know it's not just a man career, there are women in excelling in it," added Meghan Stanford.
She has loved math and science since 7th grade. And on Thursday, he had some advice for girls that age. Just like the Voyager One has done since 1977, reach for the stars.
"Just stick with it, you might not think it's for you but if you keep trying you might find you like it," she said.