Breaking: NASA Voyager I first spacecraft to travel outside our solar system

Thirty-six years after its launch from Earth, Voyager I has left the solar system, the first ever spacecraft to do so, NASA claimed on Thursday.

Voyager is now more than 11.5 billion miles away from the sun, "cruising through what scientists call interstellar space…the vast cold emptiness between the stars."

Not everyone in the scientific community is convinced that the feat has been accomplished, but NASA has begun celebrations:

"We literally jumped out of our seats when we saw these oscillations in our data — they showed us the spacecraft was in an entirely new region, comparable to what was expected in interstellar space, and totally different than in the solar bubble," said data analyst Don Gurnett.

"Clearly we had passed through the heliopause, which is the long-hypothesized boundary between the solar plasma and the interstellar plasma."

“It’s a milestone and the beginning of a new journey,” said the mission's chief scientist Ed Stone.