When Nasa launched the Voyager I and Voyager II spacecrafts in 1977 to explore Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, they included a time-capsule of sorts onboard – two phonograph records, called the Golden Records. The idea behind it was to give an idea of life on Earth to extraterrestrials that might find the records.
The 12-inch gold-plated copper discs contained recordings of sounds from our planet, including a baby’s cry and the pounding of surf, as well as folk and classical music. There are also greetings recorded in 55 different languages, from Oriya to Akkadian, a language spoken in Sumer about 6,000 years ago. The Hindi greeting says, “Dharti ke vaasiyon ki or se namaskar” or “Hello from the inhabitants of Earth.” Each record is encased in an aluminium jacket and includes a needle to play it. There are also symbolic instructions on how to play the record, and locate Earth.
While these recordings have been floating around the Internet individually, Nasa recently uploaded all the tracks in two compilations on its Soundcloud page, so you can now listen to all the messages together.
The Voyager spacecrafts are still hurtling through the outer edges of our solar system. Perhaps some day, the Golden Records will be heard by someone out there.
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