Before the Voyager probes were launched in 1977 to explore the outer solar system before heading into oblivion, two special golden disks were created to travel along with them into interstellar space. The contents of the disks were selected by a NASA comittee that was led by Carl Sagan. Together, they chose 116 various images of Earth, Earth’s people, our animals and a variety of natural sounds such as those made by wind, thunder and animals like song birds and whales. They also added a collection of music by artists such as Beethoven, Mozart, Stravinksy and Blind Willie Johnson and spoken greetings in 55 different languages.
Attached to the records, some information of scientific importance was put. Some of these included information about the mathematical and physical qualities our solar system and its planets, along with the location of our solar system in respect to 14 puslars, whose precise periods are given.
Also attached to both is a plaque containing a few words from President Jimmy Carter. It says: “This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.”
The probes aren’t actually expected to reach any intelligent civilization in the far reaches of the Universe. In fact, the Voyager 1 probe isn’t expected come within 1.6 light years of another star for 40,000 years. Instead, the records are a testament to the human spirit in space exploration and it is seen much the same way as launching a message in a bottle into the cosmic ocean of the Universe.