Its been almost 40 years since we shot the “Golden Record” into space to tell our potential alien pals a little bit about us, and now we’re putting together a version for the 21st century. So, what’ll be on this one?
If you’re unfamiliar, the “Golden Record” was essentially an ultra LP (sorry, Jack White, NASA beat you by a few decades) gramophone record the space agency included aboard the Voyager spacecraft that were launched in 1977, which was filled with images and sounds from Earth, along with musical selections and spoken greetings.
It also had a collection of images of scientific interest, such as DNA, the solar system, human anatomy, etc. Basically, it was the ABCs and 123s of the human race.
When NASA's New Horizons mission completes its survey of Pluto in the summer of 2015, then heads outside the solar system, the onboard hard drive will have some extra space, so mission control plans to stream a new, digital “Golden Record” onto the storage space to carry it beyond the stars, in case E.T.s pick it up and happen to have invented a USB drive.
The really cool part? Instead of having a NASA team put the content together, this 2.0 version will carry messages from people all over the globe via crowdsourcing. People the world over can submit photos, then a vote will be held to determine which ones make the cut. In a wise move, NASA will have final say, to make sure nothing inappropriate gets in.
It’s an extremely cool idea, and should be a nice representation of humanity today — we’re all very different, and it’ll be nice to show that diversity. Plus, since it's digital, we can actually upgrade the message later, assuming we can still connect to the craft.
NASA plans to release some info later this year on how to submit. So, what would you like to send in?