The Voyager in popular culture –

The Voyager in popular culture


Each Voyager spacecraft carries a copy of the Golden Record, which has appeared in several works of science fiction. The protective cover of the record, with instructions to reproduce its content, is shown on the left. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Whether you travel through cities, continents or even oceans this holiday season, there is no long distance flight like the Voyagers.

This year, we celebrate 40 years since the launch of NASA's twin Voyager probes, the two fastest and fastest spacecraft currently in operation. Each Voyager has brought an enormous amount of knowledge about the solar system, including the unexpected diversity of its planets and its moons. Among its many distinctions, Voyager 1 is the only spacecraft that enters interstellar space, and Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft that flies by the four giant planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

You may have missed the Voyager virtual party, however, as there were many other space news at the time of the Voyager launch anniversaries. The solar eclipse, visible throughout the United States, took place on August 21, just one day after Voyager 2 marked 40 years in flight. September 5 was the launch anniversary of Voyager 1, but space fans were already preparing to commemorate the end of NASA's Cbadini mission on September 15.

Do not worry, it's never too late to appreciate the great influence of the Voyager had. In fact, in addition to the news coverage that the spacecraft has received, the spacecraft has also gained a place in popular culture.

So, since you can have some downtime while we're heading to parties, here are some movies related to Voyager, TV shows and songs. (Warning: some spoilers later!)

Voyagers in Film and Television

Perhaps the most widely recognized Voyager homage to pop culture is in the movie "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" 1979. In the film, a machine called V & # 39; Ger – the fictional Voyager 6 spaceship, whose intelligence is greatly enhanced by an alien race – seeks the home of its creator, the Earth, and threatens to wreak havoc on our planet in the process. In real life, John Casani, who was the manager of the Voyager project at that time at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, offered to lend a Voyager model to "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry. Although the film version altered the original design, I still used the mission as inspiration.

The spacecraft had pbaded the planets when a 2004 episode of "The West Wing" – titled "The Warfare of Genghis Khan" – mentioned a milestone of the main mission: Voyager 1 crossing the termination shock. The termination shock is a shock wave that marks the point at which the sun's solar wind, which travels at supersonic speeds up to that point, decelerates and abruptly heats up. It represents the innermost part of the boundary of the heliosphere, the magnetic bubble that includes the Sun, the planets and the solar wind. Due to the crossing of termination shock, the character Josh Lyman (erroneously) declares that this Voyager 1 is the first object created by man to leave our solar system (erroneously, because the solar system ends well beyond that point of reference) . "It's funny, I'm going through a small finishing shock," jokes the character of Donna Moss.

Credit: NASA

More recently, Voyager 1 made, in real life, cross into interstellar space in 2012, although technically it has not yet left the solar system. In 2013, to talk about that milestone, the mission project scientist, Ed Stone from Caltech in Pasadena, appeared in the Colbert Report of Comedy Central.

The Golden Record

Each Voyager contains a copy of a Golden Record with the sights and sounds of Earth, including images, music and audio clips of people and animals. This record has been presented in several works of science fiction. In the 1984 film "Starman," a race of aliens discovers the record and sends an emissary to Earth to learn more about our planet.

A 1994 episode of the X-Files called "Little Green Men" also paid tribute to Voyager. . The episode begins with FBI agent Fox Mulder describing the Voyager mission and the Golden Record, which includes images, music and the voice of a child who says: "Hello to the children of planet Earth." Mulder says that the Voyagers pbaded Neptune's orbit and that "no more messages were sent," but in reality, the Voyagers still communicate with Earth every day.

The mission was not without fun on "Saturday Night Live". In episode 64, which aired in 1978, a psychic played by actor Steve Martin says that the aliens had found the disc and responded, "Send more Chuck Berry," referring to the iconic song "Johnny B. Goode" included in the golden disk. Learn more about the Golden Record and see a complete list of its contents here.

Voyager has also been inspiring for contemporary musicians and composers. Academy Award-winning composer Dario Marianelli wrote a violin concert Voyager that had its world premiere in 2014 in Brisbane, Australia, and was later played by the London Symphony Orchestra in 2015. The artist James Stretton also wrote a song on honor of the Voyagers. 40th anniversary

For a deep immersion in the history of the mission, the documentary "The Farthest" premiered on PBS in August, featuring numerous interviews with Voyager scientists and engineers, past and present.

And if you get tired of looking at your own holiday photos, there's a lot to explore on the Voyager website. Live long and prosperous, Voyager!

Explore more:
NASA: say something to Voyager 1 on the 40th anniversary of the launch

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