In 1977 NASA Launched Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. These two spacecraft were designed to travel far into space and transmit data back to earth. Even though Voyager 1 was launched one month after Voyager 2, it over took its twin on December 19th, 1977. Traveling at roughly 38,000 MPH it became the only human satellite to exit our solar system on August 25th, 2012. It will reach our closet star, Proxima Centauri, in roughly 40,000 years. Unfortunately, the Voyagers’ power supply is dying and transmissions are expected to end in 2032.
NASA attached a gold-plated copper disc onto each Voyager in an effort to communicate with any alien life that may possibly stumble upon it. The Golden Record, as it is called, is a collection of images of earth and life, greetings in many world languages, and music from around the world. The exact contents of the disc were decided upon by a large committee that was headed by Carl Sagan. Sagan said “The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space.” Some contents of the disc were rather controversial at the time like nudity and picures of breastfeeding, and interestingly, Johnny B. Good by Chuck Berry. Another interesting thing is that the original discs were almost rejected because the manufacturer scratched into the disc “To the makers of music – all worlds, all times“, but because it didn’t effect playback they were sent with the inscription.