Voyager Disc – A proof that brilliant minds existed dated back to the 70s – Less technology, no immediate access to the internet, no effective communication methods needed to achieve what no man has achieved yet – Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 from the Carl Sagan era.
These two probes are known for its achievement to have taken their journey to the interstellar space travel (and still moving further) carrying a special disc – The Voyager Golden Record.
What’s so special about that disc?
The disc carries a message that explains the life and cultures practiced on Earth. This is intended for any highly civilized extraterrestrial life form that comes across this disc or for the future mankind.
The famous Carl Sagan once noted, “The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space. But the launching of this bottle into the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about life on this planet.”
A Brief about Voyager 1 and Voyager 2:
Voyager 1 and 2 were first launched in 1977 only to explore and study Jupiter and Saturn. As soon as it completed its mission, Voyager 2 took a step further to study Neptune and Uranus – it still remains the only probe to have reached those two planets. Both Voyager 1 and 2 set its course to interstellar travel once Deep Space Network upgraded to its two antennas.
Voyager 2 is at the “Heliosheath” – the outermost layer of the heliosphere (where the solar wind is slowed by the the pressure of the interstellar medium) and Voyager 1 has started its journey into interstellar space.
What does the message say?
The message is carried by a phonograph record plate – 12 inch gold plated disc. It contains selective sounds, images, music that describes or portray the life and culture of the Earthlings.
The disc contains two sides, on one side – it carries all data in the analog form – considering the technology available in the 70s. It consists of famous musics from Beethoven, Mozart along with Willie Johnson and Chuck Berry (Hope they like it, if so, rock on!). Added to this, it contains sounds of wind, thunder, animals, birds as well as greetings spoken in 55 ancient languages (including a message from by-then President of the US – Jimmy Carter). It also contains 116 images ( not only humans, but also animals, birds, food etc) in a video file that shows everything from our planet and our solar system. The record also contains inspirational messages in Morse code.
On the other side of the disc, there is reference card providing the instructions of the Voyager record. (Refer the picture). It basically sums up how the record should be played and it’s the duration – one hour. They are represented in Binary format.
And now, we wait… If there is any life form that is much civilized to understand the record, they might reach out to us by following the radio signals sent back to Earth by the Voyagers. This will be a good news. But, if this falls to the hands of any form that scares easy, oh boy, do we have a problem here! Lets hope we don’t see a Death Star out your window!
Hope you enjoyed the article!