A Raynes Park man involved in the Voyager 1 space program has opened up on what he described as the “most monumental mission of all time” ahead of a special anniversary.

February 14 will mark 30 years since the famous 'Pale Blue Dot' - a picture of Earth from six billion kilometers away - was captured by the space probe.

Dr Garry Hunt was one of the original nine people selected by NASA to work on the Voyager program.

He spoke to the Wimbledon Times on what that mission, and the image, have meant in the decades following.

"This is a very, very important picture," he said.

"It shows that the Earth is no more than a tiny speck amongst the stars.

"It’s our only home; it’s the only place we can live and yet it is very fragile."

Dr Hunt joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) from his position as a research fellow at Harwell/Oxford in 1970 and was the only UK scientist selected by NASA at the start of the Voyager mission in 1972.

He said the first five years on the job involved a lot of back and forth between the UK and the USA.

"You have to remember, this was before the internet," he said.

"My job was still here (in the UK) so every month I had to make the trip to the US. Between 1972 when they selected the team and 1977 it was continuous travel."

But it was February 14, 1990, that the now 77-year-old will remember most about his time at NASA.

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Voyager 1, which had completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System, was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around and take one last photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space.

In the photograph, Earth's size appears as less than a single pixel; the planet appears as a tiny dot against the vastness of space, among bands of sunlight reflected by the camera

The term "Pale Blue Dot" was coined by Carl Sagan in his reflections of the photograph's significance.

"It is the most monumental mission of all time," Dr Hunt continued added.

"Not only did it make discoveries that changed textbooks, but it wasn’t a cent over spent. It was perfect management and teamwork all around.

"One of the secrets of managements of the space mission and in life is that your value is what you bring to the table. "You could be a five star general but if you don't bring anything to the table then you're just a junior member. I’ve always subscribed to that management style."

Asked if there was any way he planned on marking the 30th anniversary of the Pale Blue Dot this coming Valentine's Day he simply said "Voyager is a daily celebration."