More than 11 billion miles away from Earth, two small discs are rocketing through space at speeds in excess of 37,200 miles per hour. Their journey started in 1977, when NASA sent the two Golden Records into space, bolted to the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft. The records contain a treasure trove of information about our home planet, including sounds, songs, and images from Earth.
At the moment, the records are just hangers-on to the Voyagers’ current mission, to document the outer limits of the Sun’s influence on the Solar System. By 2030, however, both Voyagers will cease communicating with NASA, but they will continue sailing through space. At that point, they will have only one mission: continue on with the Golden Records in hopes that another advanced civilization, somewhere in the galaxy, intercepts them.
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