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The Golden Record in Pictures: Voyager Probes' Message to Space Explained

Voyager's Golden Record

NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's twin Voyager spacecraft launched in August and September 1977. Aboard each spacecraft is a golden record, a collection of sights, sounds and greetings from Earth. There are 117 images and greetings in 54 languages, with a variety of natural and human-made sounds like storms, volcanoes, rocket launches, airplanes and animals.

The Sounds of Earth

NASA

The phonograph records aboard the Voyagers are 12-inch gold-plated copper disks. They contain natural sounds, greetings in 55 languages, and a variety of music from around the world.

Gold Inside and Out

NASA

A gold aluminum cover protects the golden record and provides illustrations explaining the recording and how to play it.

Explanation for Aliens

NASA/JPL

This chart explains the diagrams on the cover of the Voyager golden record. The instructions are meant to show extraterrestrials what the record is, where it came from, and how to use it.

Crafted by NASA and Carl Sagan

NASA / Handout / Getty Images

A Golden Record is prepared to be attached to NASA's Voyager spacecraft in 1977. NASA and a team led by Carl Sagan worked collaboratively to design the record and decide its contents.

Preparing for the Voyage

NASA

A gold-plated record with "The Sounds of Earth" is mounted onto the Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1977.

Only 10 Copies on Earth

NASA/Carla Cioffi

Other than the two records on the twin Voyager spacecraft, only 10 copies exist. Here, Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) holds a replica of the golden record at a news conference on NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft in 2013 at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Kickstarter Campaign

Lawrence Azerrad/Ozma Records

A Kickstarter campaign recreated the golden records to make them available to the public for the first time ever. Read our story about the campaign here.

The New Golden Record

Lawrence Azerrad/Ozma Records

The Voyager Golden Record replicas will be heavyweight, translucent gold vinyl LPs. The original Golden Record was gold-plated copper.

The Same Gold Cover

Lawrence Azerrad/Ozma Records

The Voyager Golden Record Kickstarter replica comes in a box with the original Golden Record's cover design.

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