Thirty years ago today, Voyager 1 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on a mission to investigate Jupiter and Saturn. It accomplished its mission, sending back photos and scientific data from the two planets, but the spacecraft didn’t stop there.
Today, the spacecraft is still flying and still communicating with NASA, even though it is nearly 10 billion miles away and its transmissions take 14 hours to reach Earth. By 2015, Voyager 1 is expected to leave the solar system and scientists say it could wander the universe forever.
Attached to the side of Voyager 1 is a gold-plated phonograph record containing photos, natural sounds of Earth and 90 minutes of music from all over our world. If anyone finds Voyager during its eternal mission, the record should help them understand a little bit about life on Earth in 1977.