Murmurs From Earth The Golden Record and the Romance of Space.
We are a speck on a speck on a
Neil Degrasse Tyson on the romance of space adventure.
The Voyager Mission
MC It’s such a bleak thought, but say what you will, we are trying. Let’s begin by rewinding the clock back to 1977. This was a big year for the space program because in that year,
NASA launched two spacecrafts, each carrying a golden record. It carried a message from us to them, our story.
A MESSAGE FROM US TO THEM, OUR STORY.
T H E V O YAGER SPA C ECRAFT / Design & Structure
Left: The Voyager II at the California Institute of Technology before making its way to the Kennedy Space Center for launch in 1977.
Bottom: The Golden Record being installed onto the exterior of The Voyager II.
02 The Golden Record 06
So the project was led by astrophycisit
Absolutely. We felt that this was kind of a sacred trust, that here we were, half a dozen
Carl Sagan, and you were the composer, right? The project was so exciting to think about. It’s such a romantic idea. Did you know that at the time?
A CULTURAL NOAH’S ARK.
beings who have huge, huge, holes in our knowledge of all of these subjects, building a cultural Noah’s ark.
T H E GOLDEN REC ORD / Exterior cover with instructions for use
T HE GOLDEN REC ORD / Side A: “The Sounds of the Earth”
It was a chance to tell something of what life on Earth was like,
to beings of perhaps a thousand million years from now. On the voyager, engineers said this record will have a shelf life of a billion years. Here we were taking on this mythic challenge knowing that when it was done, two spacecraft at an average speed of 35,000 miles an hour for the next thousand million years.
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON
It was a sacred undertaking, because it was almost saying “We want to be citizens of the cosmos, we want you to know about us.” Left: Image of Saturn’s rings taken by the Voyager I on August 22nd, 1981, 2.5 million miles from Earth.
The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.
WE WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT US.
Radius of the Universe
A HISTORY OF THE UN IVER S E / From big bang to present
The record contained the sounds of the Earth.
Carl Sagan on the contents of the Golden Record.
INSERT 01 / CONTENTS OF THE GOLDEN RECORD, VISUALIZED
Ann Drynan on the Chinese composition that completed the Golden Record.
I knew this was the piece. â€œFlowing Streams.â€?
03 Sending Love Into Space
WOW, WHAT A ROMANTIC IDEA. MC
You guys met over a
It was June 1st, 1977, I’ve been looking
years old? Tell me about what happened with Carl.
for some time for a piece of Chinese music that we could put on the voyager record and not feel like idiots for having done so. And I was very excited because Columbia University who told me without a moment’s hesitation that this piece was the piece: Flowing Streams. It was presented to me, as one of the oldest pieces of Chinese music – being 2500 years old – was the piece we should put on the record. So I called Carl, who was traveling. We had been alone many times during the making of the record, and were friends for 3 years. [Neither of us had ever said anything to the other, we were both involved with other people. We had these wonderful soaring conversations,
but we had both been just completely professional about everything, just friends. He wasn’t there, left a message. Hour later phone rings pick up the phone, and I hear this wonderful voice and he said “I message and it says Annie called, and I say to myself, “Why didn’t you leave me this message 10 years ago?”
Phone rings, it was Carl. He asked, “I just want to make sure, we’re getting married right?” I said “Yeah, we’re getting married!”
And my heart completely skipped a beat, I
And we were together from that moment
can still remember so perfectly. And I said
until his death at 1996 in December.
“for keeps?” and he said “you mean get
I had asked Carl whether or not it would
married?” and I said “yes.”
be possible to compress the impulses
We had never kissed. We never even had
in one’s brain and nervous system into
any personal discussion before. We both
sound and then put that sound on the
hung up the phone and I just screamed
record and then think that perhaps the
out loud. I remember it so well because it
extraterrestrials of the future would be
was this “Eureka!” moment it was just like
able to reconstitute that data into thought.
August 22nd we told everyone involved.
Top: Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan at the NASA Space Center, 1976
ANN DRYNAN And he looked at me in beautiful May day New York City and he said “Well you know thousand million years is a long time, you know, why don’t you go do it because who knows? It was so romantic. Part of my feeling about the voyager, and part of what I was feeling in me, wanted a recording of my brainwaves, my heart, my eyes, my everything, in that mediation of the record.
And so my brainwaves, REM, and every little sound my body was making was recorded.
I WAS SENDING MY HEARTBEAT TO SPACE!
A N N D RUYAN’S EXP ERIEN CE OF LOV E /
L OCATION OF T HE VOYAGER S
Our Sun & Solar System
The Voyager I
The Voyager II
Left: Launch of the three-stage rocket, Titan IIIE with the Voyager II.
What I often think is that, maybe a hundred million years from now
I always wonder, because what I was
Billion years from now the sun will have reduced this planet into a charred ashy ball. But that record with Ann Druyanâ€™s brainwaves and heartbeat on it will still be out there somewhere, intact, in some remote region of the Milky Way,
thinking in this meditation was about the wonder of love and of being in love, and to know its on those two space crafts. Even now, whenever Iâ€™m down, I think: Still they move, 35,000 miles an hour, leaving our solar system for the great wide open sea of interstellar space.
STILL THEY MOVE, 35,000 MILES AN HOUR
Preserving a murmur o ancient civ that once
of an vilization Carl Sagan on the romance of the Golden Record.
US PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER
This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.
INSERT 02 / CONTENTS OF THE RECORD, DIGITIZED