Kickstarter campaign smashes goal for vinyl edition of Carl Sagan's Voyager Golden Record

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Sep 26, 2016, 8:42 PM EDT (Updated)

The 40th anniversary of NASA's Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes is fast approaching and to help mark the occasion, an inspired team of outer space enthusiasts and audiophiles began a Kickstarter campaign to create a limited-run vinyl box set of Carl Sagan's Golden Record that accompanied the crafts into interstellar space.  

The Voyager 1 probe is presently whizzing through the deep void at a brisk 35,000 mph, 13 billion miles from home, with its sister craft slightly behind at 10 billion miles away.

Sagan's benevolent message from the people of planet Earth to extraterrestial beings contained a number of greetings in a multitude of languages, animal noises, music samples and analog images. Pressed onto a gold-plated copper disc, it was mounted on the spacecraft when Voyager 1 launched on September 5, 1977.  An identical, aluminum-jacketed copy was included in the Voyage 2 mission, which actually blasted off first on August 20, 1977.

Here's the official description and pitch video for the commemorative reproduction below:

The Voyager Golden Record contains the story of Earth expressed in sounds, images, and science: Earth’s greatest music from myriad cultures and eras, from Bach and Beethoven to Blind Willie Johnson and Chuck Berry, Senegalese percussion to Solomon Island panpipes. Dozens of natural sounds of our planet — birds, a train, a baby’s cry, a kiss — are collaged into a lovely sound poem. There are spoken greetings in 55 human languages, and one whale language, and more than one hundred images encoded in analog that depict who, and what, we are. Etched on the record’s gold-plated aluminum jacket is a diagram explaining where it came from, and how to play it.

This project to create the first public pressing of Sagan's monumental message was spearheaded by Boing Boing's David Pescovitz and music industry friends Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad.

“When you’re 7 years old, and you hear about a group of people creating messages for possible extraterrestrial intelligence,” Pescovitz said, “that sparks the imagination. The idea always stuck with me.”

The official Kickstarter campaign has already rocketed past its initial goal of $198,000 (now over $412, 000) and space fans can pre-order their own copy at the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition site until October 21, 2016, with an estimated delivery time of summer 2017.  The reissue will consist of three LPs pressed out of premium vinyl and recorded at normal LP speed. This historic box set costs $98 plus shipping and also includes a special hardcover book detailing the history and specific contents of the record, as well as a sweet gold-leaf box for storage. A lithograph of the Golden Record cover diagram, printed with gold metallic ink on archival paper, will also be packaged within in the box. 

For those modern age souls without phonographs, MP3 digital downloads are available for $25.   20% of the project's net proceeds will be donated to the Carl Sagan Institute: The Pale Blue Dot and Beyond at Cornell University.  Could this be the ultimate nerdy gift item for 2017?

(Via Nerd Approved)