Golden Record Echo into Eternity—The Magnificent Journeys of Voyager I and II
You were both created in 1977.
This year, your journeys will have spanned forty years.
Much was riding on your success.
Your missions were to bridge the gap between humanity’s painful ignorance of our solar system and the exultation of learning and discovering the evidence of our beginning.
Crafted to last, weighing roughly two-thousand pounds, you both have lost half of your power capacity in the 40 years of your expedition.
But this has not slowed you down.
Travelling between 35000 and 39000 miles per hour, you have reached the edge of our known planetary realms.
The heliosphere is behind you.
In August 2012, Voyager 1 made the historic entry into interstellar space, the region between stars, filled with material ejected by the death of nearby stars millions of years ago.
Data from Voyager 1 indicated that it had become the first human-made object to enter interstellar space, traveling “further than anyone, or anything, in history.”
If its present pace continues, in another 1,300 years it will reach the inner Oort Cloud.
From there, it will take voyager 1 another 30,000 years to move beyond our solar system.
How improbable that a machine of such modest capabilities could achieve such a magnificent feat.
It is said that around 2025 Voyager’s radioisotope thermoelectric generators will no longer be able to supply enough power to operate any of its scientific instruments, preventing any further exploration.
Will Voyager die then, I wonder?
What will be the machine explorers’ ultimate fate?
Voyager I and II, you are an inspiration to me, and to all others on earth who dream of discovering other worlds and exploring the universe. Will you inspire other life forms some day?
I choose to believe your voyage will never end. That your 773 kilograms of magnificence will continue to explore further and further into space.
I have faith that somehow you will overcome you power issue and, in some miraculous event, explore until your instruments break down and are no longer able to function.
In your belly was placed the Golden Record.
Far into space the masterpieces of Beethoven reverberate and echo into eternity.
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