From the start of recorded history, we have always wondered whether or not we are alone in the universe. This question has been the source of many debates over the years, and experts can’t seem to agree on an answer. We are yet to discover evidence of intelligent life on other planets but continue to keep an open mind. What many people don’t know is that NASA compiled a message to possible aliens and sent it to outer space in 1977, hoping intelligent beings will find it one day.
Golden Disk Contents
NASA tasked a committee led by Carl Sagan to decide what to include on the Golden Disk before sending it off on the Voyager spacecraft. The committee decided to add pictures and sounds that highlight the human experience and life on earth. If any life forms ever find and review the contents, they will hear human greetings in more than 50 languages, but they will even listen to laughter, waves crashing on the beach and more. The Golden Disk also features scientific information and the blueprint for human DNA.
Golden Disk Cover
On the cover of the Golden Disk, NASA engraved instructions on how to retrieve and view the contents, but it also added details on how light and sound work. Those who can read the symbols will discover interstellar directions to our sun and solar system. When it decided how to engrave the symbols, NASA did its best to do so in a language-neutral way that any high-functioning being would be able to understand.
A Look Ahead
As of 2014, the spacecraft carrying the Golden Disk was 11 billion miles from earth and is still sending signals back home. The spacecraft has enough energy to power its instrument panel and communication interface until 2025. Even when it runs out of power, the spacecraft will continue on its current path and could do so for millions of years. Although it might not provide anything noteworthy in our lifetime, the Golden Disk offers our greatest chance of contacting life outside of our tiny planet.