The Voyager probe is still travelling out to the edge of the solar system and it has found to the surprise of many that even though the solar winds have dropped away, the magnetic field has not dropped. This seems to indicate that the solar systems edge is fuzzier than first thought. This could mean that we know less about the make-up of the solar system than we first thought. But the probe has done an incredible job to have survived this long in deep space with super cold temperatures and the constant buffeting from the solar wind as well as the threat of micrometeorites that can damage sensitive components. But the magnetic core memory that the probe uses as well as the durability of the circuity means that this is the most reliable probe we have ever launched. The cameras in the Voyager probe have been switched off and the software removed. They would not be able to see anything in deep space unless they were pointed back at the sun. The Pale Blue Dot photograph is the last photograph taken by the Voyager probe as it left the solar system. This shows the Earth as a tiny dot the size of a single pixel and shows how small the Earth is compared to the immensity of the solar system. This is our tiny planet photographed from 6 billion kilometres away. This is the furthest we have ever taken a photograph from until we develop warp drive or send a sleeper ship out into space.
The Voyager FAQ has much more information about the Voyager probe and the mission into deep space. Read this here: http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/faq.html. It does not matter that we have sent a plaque out into space on the Voyager probe that tells of the location of the Earth as we have been sending powerful transmissions of radio waves in the form of radio and television transmissions for a long time and these will continue out into space for a very long time. The signals we have sent give any alien that receives them a look into our culture and how we conduct ourselves for better and for worse. what would they think of such shows as MASH and Seinfeld. Or Days of our Lives? But this is the legacy of our technological progress. Eventually we will evolve beyond the need for radio transmissions and the emissions may cease. Radar has also been used by the Magellan space probe to map the surface of Venus to understand what the planet looks like beneath the thick sulphuric acid clouds. The planet Venus has a surface temperature close to 462 ° Celsius, this rules out a manned mission unless they wear refrigerated space suits. But the Voyager probe is due to pass by another star system in 299,000 years time, the systems on board the probe will be dead by then though. But this means that another civilisation could encounter the probe and study its systems. if they found the golden record on board; this would allow them to find Earth.
They would not be making the journey here though, the distances are far too great to consider it. But we would hope that at someone out there would find the golden record and play it back to hear the sounds of old Earth. if you wish to know exactly where the Voyager probes are in relation to Earth; this NASA JPL page will tell you in real time: http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/where/. 18 billion kilometres is a massive distance in our terms, but nothing compared to the 50,000 light years distance it is to the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. One light-year is 9.4605284 × 1012 kilometres. This means that the distance to Proxima Centauri, our closest star is 39,900,000,000,000 kilometres away from us. The Voyager probe would take about 75,000 years to cover this distance. So a manned mission is out of the question at that speed; unless you had ion engines that could fire continuously to accelerate the craft to a high speed, that would involve accelerating to a high speed for most of the journey and then turning the ship around to use the engines as a brake. That is one way to get to the star within a conceivable time-frame. But reaching the moon again is one thing that we should do within this century. That would allow us to mine the Helium III on the moon and solve our energy problems without too much fuss. And the asteroid belt contains enough metals to allow the construction of massive space stations that could allow tourists to live in space. That is what we need to focus our energies on.
Wasting massive amounts of money on pointless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is not really helping humanity at all. We could theoretically create a warp drive using a bubble of space-time around the ship and compressing space ahead of it whilst stretching space behind the bubble. This would allow the ship to travel a distance faster than light would take to travel the distance while the ship itself inside the bubble does not go faster than the speed of light. This would allow us to sidestep the theory of relativity and not violate Einstein’s laws. We will have to wait and see what the future holds.