Voyager 1, the space probe NASA launched into outer space in 1977, is the man-made object farthest from Earth. In fact, the idea that Voyager managed to travel into interstellar space is so huge, that it takes time to process and understand what an achievement this is for the human race.
On board this space probe, which scientists hope one day will be found by an extraterrestrial civilization, is a disc that carries a set of images and sounds characteristic to our planet, especially selected by Carl Sagan.
It’s a message to future spacefaring aliens who may intercept the probe, and among other things, it carries a map of planet Earth and its location in the galaxy.
And while Aliens have still not found us yet, mankind has changed in the last couple of decades like never before.
At the time Voyager 1 was launched into space, world-renowned astronomer Carl Sagan predicted and spoke about how future human beings who will set to conquer distant worlds will look like, when we’ve advanced technologically and socially enough, and become a species capable and willing to take our legacy onto distant alien worlds:
“We were hunters and foragers. The frontier was everywhere. We were bounded only by the earth in the ocean and the sky. The open road still softly calls. Our little terraqueous globe is the madhouse of those hundred, thousand, millions of worlds. We who cannot even put our own planetary home in order, riven with rivalries and hatreds, are we to venture out into space?
By the time we are ready to settle even the nearest of planetary systems, we will have changed. The simple passage of so many generations will have changed us. Necessity will have changed us. We’re an adaptable species.
It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri and the other nearby stars. It will be a species very much like us. But with more of our strengths and fewer of our weaknesses.
More confident, far-seeing, capable and prudent. For all of our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness.
For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness. What new wonders undreamt of in our time, will we have wrought in another generation, and another? How far will our nomadic species have wandered, by the end of the next century, and the next millennium?
Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds through the solar system, and beyond, will be unified, by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet, and by the knowledge that, whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the universe, come from Earth. They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies. They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of all our potential once was, how perilous our infancy, how humble our beginnings, how many rivers we had to cross, before we found our way.”