NASA Uploads Voyager’s Golden Record MP3s to Soundcloud

Somewhere, deep in interstellar space, are two NASA spacecrafts that are both carrying a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk. Embedded on these golden records are sounds and images, carefully selected, to portray the diverse life and culture on Earth. On Monday, NASA uploaded the sounds to Soundcloud so people can go listen to the collection of sounds floating through space for their self.

NASA’s — The Golden Record

Before NASA launched the golden record on Voyager 1 and 2, they launched Pioneer 10 and 11 with small metal plaques, which had information about their time and place of origin. NASA took this same idea and applied it to the golden record, but also decided to take it one step further. Rather than just giving any would-be spacefarers information about the spacecraft they may have found, they decided to send information relevant to us as a species.

A committee chaired by Carl Sagan, a popular American astronomer, carefully selected 115 images and various natural sounds that represent us and the world we live in. “The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space. But the launching of this ‘bottle’ into the cosmic ‘ocean’ says something very hopeful about life on this planet,” said Sagan when describing the project.

Messages from Earth

NASA didn’t just vote to put natural sounds on the record. There are also musical pieces from various cultures around the world; there are greetings from real people spoken in 55 different languages, and there are even printed messages from President Carter and U.N Secretary General Waldheim.

Sound clips of the recordings have been available on the NASA Voyager website for a while now, but now you can enjoy them, together, in a full playlist via Soundcloud. Prior to NASA releasing the MP3s, you could only listen to each clip individually.

Going the Distance

Voyager 1 and 2 are continuing their journey into interstellar space in order to better understand the outer limits of the Sun’s sphere of influence. The goal is to study the Sun’s magnetic field, the outward flow of the solar system, and continuing the search for the heliopause boundary. And if we expand Earth’s influence with a few good tunes then so be it.

Check out NASA’s playlist here.


Without a proper playlist, what space adventure is complete?: