2 years ago
In 1972, David Bowie’s Space Oddity was released in the U.S., with its science fiction-inspired title track sending listeners hurtling towards the cosmos on a seemingly never-ending mission. Just five years later, NASA would produce something similar—but for purposes of science fact.
In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes to communicate with any alien life forms they encountered. Each probe carried a 90-minute-long golden LP record. A sampling of the tracks (curated, in part, by Carl Sagan) included: Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony,” greetings in 55 different languages, and Indian raga music. Etched on the record’s aluminum “dust jacket” was a diagram, explaining where the record came from and how it could be cued up on an interstellar turntable.
In 2013, Voyager 1 finally entered interstellar space (and Voyager 2 was right behind it), and although there are no signs that extraterrestrial life has gotten a chance to spin the record, us humans are about to get that opportunity for the first time in nearly 40 years.
The “Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition” is a three-record box set, containing three translucent gold vinyl records, with all the original audio; a book featuring images from the “message”; a digital-audio download card; and a fine art print. The record’s original producer, Timothy Ferris, will be remixing the album.
The box set is available exclusively on Kickstarter until Oct. 21 (those who pledge at least $98 get the complete set). Listen to the contents of the album below. And remember, you can actually play it in outer space thanks to Jack White’s record player.