A record label has managed to pull off a feat that no other group of music aficionados has ever managed to accomplish in the past: Bringing the complete audio mix of NASA’s infamous Voyager golden records to turntables around the globe.
History of NASA’s Voyager Golden Records
Nasa first put together an album of audio, human voice messages and images in 1977 to communicate the story of Earth to any extraterrestrials that might have been listening from space. The golden records were ambitiously placed aboard voyagers 1 and 2 in hopes of discovering life outside our planet. The original voyager soundtrack was carried by a vintage 12-inch gold-plated disk which acted as a phonographic record to play the selected images and audio portraying the beauty of nature and diversity of culture on Earth.
The golden records weren’t the first time-capsules to be sent out into the deep space on rockets, but they were the most ambitious ones to date, put together by a selected committee in NASA under the chairmanship of Carl Sagan.
NASA’s website says that Sagan and his committee collected an assortment of 115 images for the project along with an audio selection containing sounds of the birds chirping, waves lapping against the shore, thunder, wind, and various other animal voices. Several human messages telling the story of mankind, as well as greetings in more than 50 different languages were also recorded and added to the album.
Where Are the Voyagers Now?
The original record also contained a written message from then-President Carter and General Waldheim, who was the secretary general of the United Nations. It’s been almost 40 years ever since the recording was mounted on a rocket and sent off into the deep space with hopes that someone out there, hundreds of thousands of light years away, would discover the messages some day and try to make contact with Earth.
The two voyagers that carried the golden records were sent into space to tour the entire solar system. Apart from taking the Earth’s message to any extraterrestrial being out there, the probes also captured fascinating imagery of Earth’s neighboring planets including Saturn, Neptune and Jupiter.
The probes, which travelled at a speed of 35,000 miles per hour, flew between stars and sent back images of unique deep-space objects to Earth. The Voyagers are now billions of miles away from Earth and are meant to stay in space forever, drifting in the Milky Way, playing the messages on the golden record until the end of time – or until an alien discovers the probe and interprets the messages on the tape.
A Kickstarter Project to Sell Golden Records to the Public
Although, NASA has not been able to establish contact with the extraterrestrial, at least the people of the Earth will now be able to enjoy the entire audio experience of NASA’s golden records for the first time in four decades, thanks to the efforts of one record company named Ozma Records which began as a Kickstarter project and has now received enough funding to manufacture more than 10,000 copies of the Voyager Golden Record for everyone who backed their fundraiser.
The copyrighted clips of the original audio used on the Golden Record were handed over to CBS Records by NASA years ago and Ozma Records has been making efforts since 2016 to retrieve as much of the original audio as possible. When the founders of the Record first pitched their idea on Kickstarted, they thought that they would need no more than $200,000 to make the idea work, but they ended up raising $1.3 million in total.
Almost two years later, the group has unearthed the entire master tape, gotten permission to use the track and made thousands of copies of it to sell worldwide. The company’s website is selling the vinyl records in a complete box set for $98 apiece. The website allows music lovers to pre-order their records but the deliveries will only begin mid-February.