The Forever Library |

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2022-01-12 17:30:12

In the year 1972, a pair of spacecraft departs the Earth atmosphere, headed towards the outer gas planets of the solar system. These spacecraft, bearing the name Pioneer 10 and 11, become the first artificial objects to fly beyond Pluto and escape the gravitational grasp of the sun. They each carry a gold-plated plaque bearing etchings of the human form, our place in the solar system, and its place within our stellar neighborhood.

Five years later, in 1977, the Voyager spacecrafts launch, also headed towards interstellar space. They bear gold-plated phonograph records (and instruments used to play it back) bearing sounds of human language, photos of daily life, Earth’s place in the galaxy, and how to retrieve these things from the record.

For the next million years, these signals and souvenirs of intelligence on Earth sail across the galactic arm, sometimes coming within light-years of habitable planets and star systems.

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