Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Long Trip

 Have you ever heard of the voyager program? The one with the two probes launched into space in the 1970s?
Originally the probes were sent of to explore the surface on some of the other planets in our solar system but what they also did when they sent them of was to stop for a couple of seconds and think; "hmm. These aren´t coming back... so that means that someone else might find them some day... We should probably send a little greeting."

Radiolab, One of my favorite radio shows and podcasts, had a show in 2007 about that greeting. They actually interviewed the producer and maker of the recording that was sent with the two voyager probes. It contained all sorts of sounds from earth, including "hello" in many different languages, music from Mozart, Beethoven, Bach etc, The sound of a whale. A mothers first words to her newborn child... You get the gist.
And while listening to the thoughts and feelings that went with the voyagers I get more and more exited.
Just think about it...
Put yourself out there in the universe, as an alien, discovering one of these recordings of us! Imagine being one of the team finding out that it is a recording and turning it on... Imagine hearing Bach´s cello suite prelude being played to you and through it, another civilization reaching out to you across the stars!
Imagine standing perplexed and listening to alien music never before heard by a non-human.
Kind of scary and moving at the same time.

As I see it, the voyagers are probably doomed to either roam space for ever, or being pulverized by some random asteroid before ever reaching another civilization. That is what probably will happen anyway. Yet, the chance is there... That they, some day, after our civilization is dead and gone and swallowed up by our sun, that they will reach someone. Lucky bastards.

Hands up to Radiolab for giving such  a fantastic podcast each week! Recommendations all around...
If you go to the site, there will probably be some kind of pledge which you don´t have to pay. The podcast is free.

Have fun!