The Voyager 1 headed into interstellar “deep space” officially on September 12, 2013. With a gold record on-board, the 12th marks the date that music went viral in a whole new way. Aboard the Voyager spacecraft, technically on the side of each of the two crafts, is a gold-plated copper record housed inside an aluminum case, with music, photos, and spoken greetings from Earth-people in 55 languages. The team estimated the record could last for a billion years. NASA, aided by a committee led by scientist Carl Sagan, calculated that the aluminum case would withstand about 4,000 tiny impacts of cometary debris before leaving our solar system. It was machined to be thick enough and light enough to endure those impacts. Then, according to the book, Murmurs of Earth, Dr. Sagan explained that each spacecraft has two one-sided copper records, bonded back to back, with the data sides facing one another to further protect them. The agency estimates that it will be about 40,000 years before Voyager comes close to another planet. That’s a long time. I was just a boy when the Voyager launched, but I find the agency’s foresight and desire to share some of Earth’s culture with the universe to be astounding and inspiring. As the Murmurs of Earth book illustrates, Dr. Sagan and team spent considerable effort (along with a great deal of thoughtfulness) into creating a record that presented a slice of life on this planet. Finish this great article at Forbes.
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