Non-musical content on the discs include a variety of sounds from Earth such as waves, traffic, thunder, and whale songs, 116 images including mathematical equations, photographs of the planets in our solar system, and anatomical drawings of humans, and an hour-long recording of Ann Druyan’s brainwaves, who later became Sagan’s wife. They also contain spoken recordings of greetings in over 50 different languages, from Rajasthani to Telugu. Many are simply variations on hellos, but some got a little more creative, such as Sweden’s contribution: “Greetings from a computer programmer in the small university town of Ithaca on planet Earth.”

When the Voyagers were sent on their undefined journeys in 1977, US president Jimmy Carter cast this message into the cosmos:

“This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope some day, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination and our goodwill in a vast and awesome universe.”

Take it away, Chuck.

This story was updated to reflect that The Golden Record was also sent on the Voyager 2 spacecraft in addition to Voyager 1.

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