News constantly appears in the media that tell us about cars specially prepared to break speed records, about magnetic trains that are supposed to catch up with airplanes in terms of performance, and about so many other mobile gadgets designed with the most cutting-edge technology.
However, there is one question that is not entirely clear. What is the fastest vehicle built by mankind? It is a plane? A space ships?
The fastest car in history
Until a few years ago, the fastest vehicle built by man was the Voyager I probe. Launched in 1977 with the aim of investigating the confines of the Solar System, it is currently beyond Pluto and travels at a speed of 17,145 meters to the second (61,722 kilometers per hour) with the aim of crossing the Heliopause, the last limit on which our star has incidence. To give the reader an idea, the Voyager I probe is more than eighteen billion kilometers from the Sun.
However, there is another vehicle that managed to break the record. This is the New Horizons probe, launched in 2006 with the primary objective of reaching Pluto and its moon Charon, and the secondary objective of studying the Kuiper Belt, a set of rocky bodies (asteroids and comets) that are beyond of Pluto.
It reached a maximum speed of 17,193 kilometers per second, although now it moves at 16,656 kilometers per second, which is not little.
The absence of drag caused by rolling or the atmosphere allows these vehicles to accelerate to astronomical speeds, hundreds of times faster than commercial aircraft. They are initially propelled by engines and later take advantage of the gravitational assistance of planets such as Jupiter to reach similar speeds.
Even traveling at this speed, New Horizons won’t reach Pluto until. The data is chilling. We can get a general idea of how gigantic the Solar System is, just a grain of sand if we compare it with the universe as a whole.