Thursday, October 4, 2007

NASA - Pioneering NASA Spacecraft Mark Thirty Years of Flight

I know I'm the only one who finds this quite as cool as I do, but I love this story and want to mark it.

NASA - Pioneering NASA Spacecraft Mark Thirty Years of Flight:

NASA's two venerable Voyager spacecraft are celebrating three decades of flight as they head toward interstellar space. Their ongoing odysseys mark an unprecedented and historic accomplishment.

Voyager 2 launched on Aug. 20, 1977, and Voyager 1 launched on Sept. 5, 1977. They continue to return information from distances more than three times farther away than Pluto.

It's just amazing they're STILL receiving data from these craft! I've got to say it though, the sheer arrogance of humanity to do this:

Each of the Voyagers carries a golden record that is a time capsule with greetings, images and sounds from Earth. The records also have directions on how to find Earth if the spacecraft is recovered by something or someone.

is really astounding. "how to find Earth"!!? Based on what, exactly? And while audio on a record is completely analog, therefore theoretically easily decoded, how would they understand what is being said? Because it's in 9 different languages? And I don't think anyone on Earth could figure out how to pull images off a golden record, even knowing they were images! How are aliens to do it? We should have sent bronze engravings of pictures, if we really wanted to send images.

'Nuff about that. This is cool. Way to go NASA!