Today NASA announced that data from Voyager 1 likely (and finally) indicate that it has left our Solar System and entered interstellar space.
This is a deep, inspiring, emotional video
Voyager is the greatest ambassador of humanity in the cosmos, carrying a few sounds, pictures, in its Golden Record. A time capsule of mankind. As Suzanne Dodd, Project Manager of the mission, said beautifully “we are traveling along with Voyager as it continues on this journey of discovery”. Even if it’s a baby step toward launching our knowledge in space as a message to other civilizations, it’s amazing.
The 36 years old probe is on its way to the stars ! One day, we can hope another civilization finds this little, scratched probe and wonders what kind of species we are/were.
The Project Managers of the Voyager Mission, Ed Stone and Suzanne Dodd, Carl Sagan, deserve a Nobel Peace Prize, as they sent a message of peace and unity for all mankind to the vastness of the Universe, for any other civilization to read.
We should celebrate the fact that our species is capable of creating such things and we should launch new missions to explore our Universe and send messages to the stars. We should celebrate the fact that this spacecraft has been doing science for 36 years and counting (even if it’s kind of an obsolete device now, it’s still providing immensely valuable data, enriching our Knowledge).
Finally, I have to say Voyager is everything I love about space exploration: a time capsule of our civilization, and a beautiful, awesome tool to augment our knowledge of the cosmos.
When looking at the sky on a clear night, we should be thinking: woah, there’s actually a piece of our culture this far. There’s actually a piece of us traveling to the stars.
The next time you look at the stars, give Voyager 1 a wave of the hand, a wink, whatever. Pay respect to this little guy!
And now, seat back, relax, and enjoy the flight to the next star (it’ll last 40 000 years)!