Voyager Golden Record Kickstarter →

A new Kickstarter project has grabbed my attention:

Experience the historic interstellar message for extraterrestrials the way it was meant to be played.

In 1977, NASA’s Voyager I and II probes were sent to explore the outer solar system1 and beyond. In fact, Voyager I holds the distinct record of being the first human-built object to enter interstellar space.

In addition to cameras and sensors, the space craft are carrying a special payload:

Mounted to each of these spacecraft is a stunning golden phonograph record, an interstellar message to introduce our civilization to extraterrestrials who might encounter the probes, perhaps billions of years from now.

The Voyager Golden Record contains the story of Earth expressed in sounds, images, and science: Earth’s greatest music from myriad cultures and eras, from Bach and Beethoven to Blind Willie Johnson and Chuck Berry, Senegalese percussion to Solomon Island panpipes. Dozens of natural sounds of our planet — birds, a train, a baby’s cry — are collaged into a lovely sound poem. There are spoken greetings in 55 human languages, and one whale language, and more than one hundred images encoded in analog that depict who, and what, we are.

The project includes LPs so the sounds etched on these records can be played for the first time outside of NASA. Pretty cool.

  1. Sadly, Uranus and Neptune haven’t been visited by any probe other than Voyager 2.