Last chance to suggest message to Voyager 1

It’s the final day for internet users to suggest a message for NASA to beam to the Voyager 1 space probe.

The craft is currently almost 13 billion miles from Earth – making it the most distant human-made object ever.

It was launched on 15 September 1977 and in order for a message to be beamed to it in time for the 40th anniversary of the mission, NASA is closing the date for suggestions on Tuesday.

The space agency is seeking suggestions via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for a 60-character message to send to the unmanned Voyager 1.

At the end of the entry period, the public will be allowed vote on what short message should be sent to the probe.

Public polls can be a risky business in the age of the internet, with the public last year opting to name the UK’s new polar research ship Boaty McBoatface. The current suggestions posted with the hashtag #MessageToVoyager have been similarly witty.

An early suggestion by Buran recommended: “Messagy McMessageface” while Jehan de Plum suggested informing Voyager 1 that “We’re no strangers to love.”

Kurt Yost on Twitter suggested messaging the probe – which hasn’t been following current affairs – to say: “Hey Voyager, you are not going to BELIEVE the **** that’s been going on back here!

Voyager 1 is also the first man-made spacecraft to enter interstellar space and is likely to be the first evidence of humanity to ever reach an alien civilisation.

On board the spacecraft is a golden phonograph record containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth to any such alien civilisation.

The space probe is still operational, but delivered an iconic image to the planet in 1990 when, around four billion miles from the Earth, it turned around to take an image of its origin.

The Pale Blue Dot image was taken four billion miles away from Earth.
Image:The small dot on the right of the picture was of Earth taken four billion miles away from the planet

The picture, known as the Pale Blue Dot, was popularised by American cosmologist Carl Sagan with the quote:

“Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.

“The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar’, every ‘supreme leader’, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

 

source: news.sky