In September 1977 the Voyager 1 was launched. It’s mission was and still is the exploration of the solar system beyond the neighborhood of the outer planets, to the outer limits of the sun‘s sphere and possibly beyond.
In addition to scientific sensors and communication technology, the Golden Record was placed on board this spacecraft: A selection of recordings, sounds, speeches and images that were to portray the diversity of life on Earth, fine examples of the beauty of our nature and cultures - warm greetings for any intelligent life that may find it.
This almost pointless act of dropping a message in a bottle as small as this interstellar probe into the vastness of the universe speaks a lot about humanity. It is a hopeful, almost certainly futile, proof of our wish to push the boundaries and quite literally reach for the stars. It also speaks a lot about a time in which sending a man into space, sending a man on the moon and shooting a probe to the very fringes of our solar system were signs that the future would surely be bright and marvellous.
In times of the permanent crisis, the credit crunch and housing bubble, in times of riots, despair, burnout and depression, we should maybe sometimes take a look up into the sky and contemplate:
It is somewhat amusing yet quite encouraging to know, that at this very moment, 18’493’179’146 kilometres or 123’61928050 astronomical units away form the earth, Chuck Berry‘s Johnny B. Goode and sincere inter-terrestrial greetings from then President Jimmy Carter float swiftly into ∞ and will for ever do so.