Extraterrestrials are always considered as beings or spaceships coming from outer space to Earth, however we are also ET's - our first physical objects to reach deep space are these two intrepid spaceships. The Voyager I and II spacecrafts, our first ambassadors to the stars, (besides our radio waves) left Earth in 1977. They will spend, for all intents and purposes, eternity exploring the vastness of our universe.
Someday, beings from another planet will find these adventurers and realize that extraterrestrials do exist - and they call themselves Earthlings.
There are/were two main aspects of the Voyager missions.
First, the scientific mission exploring the outer planets and second,
the attachment of the "Golden Record" on each spacecraft.
This latter achievement is the most compelling to me.
The various equipment on both Voyager spacecrafts.
The actual Golden Record. Two were made, one each for Voyager I and Voyager II.
Here is the cover plate which protects the record on each craft.
This cover will protect the record as the ship hurtles through space for millions, even billions of years . The images on the cover are a visual aid - if aliens do find the ship, this will help them understand how to operate the record player aboard each of the vessels.
The Voyager spacecrafts discovered many new things about the physical nature of our solar system, but it is these records that hold my interest and imagination. They are, without a doubt, the most fabulous time capsules ever conceived. They are billions of miles away careening towards the emptiness of deep space. Long after humans have evolved beyond recognition, or have destroyed themselves, these records will be there for us, indicating a species striving for knowledge and immortality.
Included on each record are greetings of peace, respect and awe to extraterrestrials in 55 earth languages and over 115 images, from nudes to a barn raising scene. Also included are the sounds of earth, from bubbling mud pots to Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring". What an amazing discovery for an unsuspecting extraterrestrial!
Although I find the cover aesthetically pleasing by itself, it is nice to know what it actually means.
Here is The Golden Record (protected beneath the cover plate) attached to the actual spacecraft.
During May 2005, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft entered the solar system's final frontier, a vast, turbulent expanse where the Sun's influence ends and the solar wind crashes into the thin gas between stars.
and the website:
The Voyager Official NASA site
Last update: August, 2005 - Milwaukee, WI