What would you save for the future?

In 1977 Voyager 1 and 2 set off on their journey. First they investigated Saturn and Jupiter, sending back amazing photos, then they went on to Neptune and Uranus. In August 2012 the two craft headed out into interstellar space and were free of the solar system.

Voyager – Mission Status (nasa.gov)

The two vessels are currently on different paths at slightly different speeds – one doing 34,000 MPH and the other 38,000 MPH.

They are heading for Proxima Centauri – our closest star system. It will take 300 years to get near! They are still transmitting!!

If that isn’t incredible enough, they both contain a gold plated copper disc on which is recorded a limited amount of information in both sound and image. It contains a wealth of information about our planet and us. But it is limited.

In a mere 5 Billion Years time our sun will evolve into a red giant. It will expand to engulf mercury, venus and the earth and moon. When that happens every fossil, relic and sign of life on this planet will be turned into plasma. Nothing will be left.

There was controversy over the plaque carried by the Pioneer vessel. It depicted a naked man and woman but the female was without genitals and they were very white.

Should we have provided a more accurate image? This might be the only image left of us!

In a mere 5 Billion Years time our sun will evolve into a red giant. It will expand to engulf mercury, venus and the earth and moon. When that happens every fossil, relic and sign of life on this planet will be turned into plasma. Nothing will be left.

Human beings will probably have died out billions of years before – but who knows?

All life might have already died – who knows?

The earth might have been long destroyed – who knows?

Unless mankind can grow up and look after the planet, find a way of getting along in harmony with the rest of nature, we might not have a future. Unless we can find a way of protecting the earth against cosmic calamities, such as asteroid strikes, we might not have a planet.

The only evidence of life on earth might be the images, videos and sounds recorded on those gold discs.

The incredible Carl Sagan was the man in charge of sorting out what to put on the Voyager Disc. He chose:

spoken word in many languages

Music – Bach to Chuck Berry, various music of different cultures – The Beatles were meant to be on with Here Comes The Sun but the record company refused the rights (silly fools).

Sounds – from bird song to breezes

Images – humans, creatures, plants and scenery.

Voyager – What’s on the Golden Record (nasa.gov)

What would you want to include on a future disc with limited space? What should be the last testament of all the life that has lived on this planet? All human culture?

Would you include the stories of murder, war, poverty, starvation, blood sports, factory farming, murder, racism or environmental destruction?

Would you leave an accurate picture of what we are like? Or a sanitised one of what we could be at our best?

What would you want an alien race to know about the reality of life on earth and us humans?

One of the most famous picture taken was looking back from Voyager.

Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles, 40.5 AU).

We are just discernible as a pale speck – a tiny blue dot.

Pale Blue Dot – Wikipedia

That’s all we are.

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