A year after the United States celebrated its bicentennial, NASA took to outer space with one of history’s most interesting exploration endeavors; Voyager space probes 1 and 2 were sent into the cosmos containing a special golden record. Sent one after the other, these probes were meant to gather information on the solar system and send that information back to NASA on earth for study and evaluation. Since reaching that far into space would never be possible for humans, these probes acted as the eyes and ears for scientists. While these probes were intended to explore the outer reaches of the solar system and venture out into the rest of the galaxy, this special record was included to offer extra terrestrial life a taste of what Earth was about.
Though the primary mission of the Voyager probes was to explore the outer reaches of space, apparently the scientists at NASA weren’t completely immune to some curiosity about extra terrestrial life. The original golden record sent out with this probe includes over 90 minutes of content for aliens to listen to. This content included some musical numbers from legendary artists like Beethoven and Chuck Berry, and it also included greetings in 55 different human languages. To make sure the aliens could listen to it and get all the information, the album featured a cover diagram that explained how to use it.
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the probes’ launch, NASA is re-releasing their golden record. Teaming up with Timothy Ferris, who originally produced the one in outer space, they remastered the entire album and its ready for your enjoyment. By contributing to the Kickstarter at various levels, you can ensure that you get a copy of this album for yourself. Whether you just donate a little to get the digital soundtrack or you pledge $98 for the full album set, you can see what those aliens will one day find when they discover the Voyager probes floating through space. It also includes some other goodies, like a hardback full-color book (with essays from the original Voyager team), a lithograph of the original cover diagram included with the record, and more.
Of course, the concept of this golden record was focused around reaching out to alien life somewhere in the cosmos. As the Voyager probes make their journey, many wonder if they will fall into the hands of some other lifeforms. If they do, will we even be able to know about it? Using the power supply that they were outfitted with upon launch, the probes will only be powered for another decade or less. In other words, the probes will be left to float around in space without guidance and without transmitting and telemetry. If an alien race is out there to receive it, odds are we would never even know about it.