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It's 2021, and we finally don't have to worry quite so much about our spacecraft getting lost in interstellar space.

Using the positions and shifting light of stars, both near and far, astronomer Coryn A.L. Bailer-Jones has demonstrated the feasibility of autonomous, on-the-fly navigation for spacecraft traveling far beyond the Solar System.

Interstellar space navigation may not seem like an immediate problem. However, already in the last decade human-made instruments have entered interstellar space, as first Voyager 1 (in 2012) and Voyager 2 (in 2018) crossed the Solar System boundary known as the heliopause.

It's only a matter of time before New Horizons joins them, followed by more probes in the future. As these spacecraft travel farther and farther from their home planet, communication with Earth takes longer and longer.

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