13:10 GMT +327 May 2019
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    The Sounds of Earth

    From Deep Space to SoundCloud: NASA Uploads 1970s Alien Podcast

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    NASA's Golden Record was carried onboard the spacecraft Voyager One and Two in the 1970s, so that aliens could hear greetings in Earth's languages, and sounds thought to represent life on Earth.

    The 'Golden Record' sound recordings which were taken aboard the Voyager space probe missions in the 1970s were uploaded by NASA on Monday to SoundCloud, the popular online audio sharing service, giving humans a chance to listen to the sounds originally intended only for alien ears. 

    The recording comprises greetings in 55 languages, and 19 recordings of 'Sounds of Earth,' including a tractor, Morse code, a chimpanzee and 'the first tools.'

    The sounds were included on the Golden Record, a kind of time capsule which hopes to convey life on Earth to extraterrestrials which might meet with Voyager. As well as the sounds, the record, a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk, contains a 90 minute mixtape of music and 115 images of life on Earth.

    The Golden Record is carried onboard both the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft, which launched in 1977 and still returns communication to the Deep Space Network from around 12 billion miles away. 

    In September 2013 NASA announced that Voyager 1 is the first human-made object to officially venture into interstellar space, having been traveling for about one year in a transitional region of plasma, in the space between stars.  

    The Voyager spacecraft.
    © AFP 2019 / NASA
    The Voyager spacecraft.
    The last instruments on Voyager will run out of power in 2025, long before Voyager gets close enough, in 40,000 years, to approach any other planetary system, so it's up to the extraterrestrials of the future whether they want to let Earth know they got the message.

    "The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space," said Carl Sagan, who chaired the committee which selected the content for the Golden Record. 

    "But the launching of this bottle into the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about life on this planet." 

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