and thank you, Earth!
The Milky Way
In 1977 the United States launched The Voyager Mission, carried out by scientific probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. Officially designated to study just Jupiter and Saturn, the probes were able to continue their mission into the outer solar system, and are as of June 2011 approaching the edge of our solar system. Voyager 1 is currently the farthest human-made object from Earth. Both probes carry with them a golden record that contains pictures and sounds of Earth, along with symbolic directions for playing the record and data detailing the location of Earth. The record is intended as a combination time capsule and interstellar message to any civilization, alien or far-future human, that recovers either of the Voyager craft. "We cast this message into the cosmos. It is likely to survive a billion years into our future, when our civilization is profoundly altered and the surface of the Earth may be vastly changed. Of the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, some – perhaps many – may have inhabited planets and space faring civilizations. If one such civilization intercepts Voyager and can understand these recorded contents, here is our message:
"This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination, and our good will in a vast and awesome universe."
President of the United States of America
The White House, June 16, 1977