May 5, 2009
Currently wkg on an article about the 1977 Voyager Golden Record, the gold-plated copper disc launched into space aboard two unmanned scientific probes, Voyagers 1 and 2; a time capsule-ish collection of sounds and images (curated by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, &c) intended to reach the eyes and ears of extraterrestrials.... That is, if there are extraterrestrials.... That is, if the record can even reach them.... That is, if the extraterrestrials have eyes and ears and record players accommodating gold-plated copper discs....
As this RadioLab podcast explains, all of these "ifs" make it highly unlikely that any potential advanced spacefaring civilizations will ever encounter The Golden Record. But it is, nonetheless, a nice gesture of “wanting to become citizens of the cosmos.” Not to mention the sounds (particularly the “Sounds of Earth” portion, feat. audio of volcanoes, crickets, tractors, trains, humpback whale songs, footsteps, mud pots, Morse Code, tame dogs, wild dogs, wind, surf, &c) make for a fascinating listening experience and the images: a great, very 1970s scroll-through experience.
Despite the ambitiousness of this project—and, in many ways, because of it—"...The launching of this "bottle" into the cosmic "ocean" says something very hopeful about life on this planet." (C. Sagan)
Posted by Laura