29 July 2015 News

Greetings to aliens: NASA shares 1977 Voyager Golden Record on SoundCloud

It’s been nearly four decades since NASA launched a record featuring sights and sounds of planet Earth into space for extra-terrestrials to potentially find.

Now you can listen to it on SoundCloud.

It’s a surprisingly touching experience. There are tracks of everything from a baby crying before being comforted by a mother to greetings in dozens of languages, from the Morse Code to falling rain.

We will likely never find out whether or not these aural snapshots of Earth, traveling across the vast reaches of space on Voyager probes, will ever be picked up by extra-terrestrials, should they be out there. We certainly can’t guarantee that any extra-terrestrials out there could be bothered to utilise our technology. Yet there is something precious in the naive simplicity of the records, which show humanity and its surroundings distilled to a few simple essentials.

The different greetings are a particularly nice touch, showing how diverse, and, at the same time, how similar we all really are.

The one obvious omission is disco music, of course. Then again, perhaps NASA was being prudent and didn’t want to provoke aliens into destroying human civilisation.

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