It's been 30 years since NASA scientists released the famous Golden Records, described by NASA as a mixed tape "destined to communicate the history of our world to aliens", on the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft, and while the aliens had the opportunity to release the records, while spacecraft have been moving into space over the years, the public has never had the opportunity to own these records, until now.
The content of the records was selected for NASA by a committee chaired by famed physicist Carl Sagan and the records were intended to give aliens an idea of what life on Earth means. To achieve this, the record includes the sound of wind, rain, whales, birds, the brain waves of a woman who falls in love (that of Ann Druyan, a Sagan woman who has not yet become a second wife ). writer who met Sagan while working on this project) and greetings from Earth in 55 languages.
"The chances of the aliens finding the Voyagers in the vast vacuum of space are small, some say they are infinitesimal, but we take our work seriously," Druyan said, according to NASA. "From the moment [Sagan] first introduced the project to Tim Ferris and me, it felt mythical."
They chose to use the records as a format because the eight-track tapes would degrade in space due to radiation, opting for a gold-plated copper register because it would resist both radiation and extreme space temperatures.
The albums also offer an incredible selection of music from around the world. If the aliens ever find and discover how to play this record, they will discover the sounds of Chuck Berry tearing his guitar, the magnificent thunder of Beethoven and the dreary yearning of Blind Willie Johnson moaning the blues.
It's not clear if the aliens will ever find and hear these records: Voyager 1 left our solar system in 2012 and Voyager 2 is still coming out of the solar system, and who knows when or if they will ever reach a destination that is equipped with listeners. And the listeners will have to be smart enough to know how to play the album too.
"The spacecraft will be detected and the record will be reproduced only if there are advanced civilizations of space travel in interstellar space," Sagan acknowledged at the time the files were compiled and sent on Voyager 1 and 2. " But the launch of this bottle in the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about life on this planet. "
Either way, the records will finally be available here on Earth.
A Kickstarter campaign by Ozma Records raised more than $ 1 million to broadcast a limited number of copies of the album on vinyl. The campaign was so successful that the company opted to release copies of the record to the public.
The first discs, complete with the sounds, images and everything else badembled by Sagan and company, along with the media coverage of the Voyager disc also, will be released at the end of January in a limited edition box set issued by Light in the Attic record distributor. The preorder price is $ 50.
Dianna Wray a nationally awarded journalist, is a staff writer at Houston Press. Born and raised in Houston, she writes about everything from NASA to oil and horse racing.