In 1977, the Voyager I spacecraft was launched into space with the intention of flying further than any craft had before it. 38 years later, the spacecraft still communicates with the Deep Space Network to receive routine commands and return data. It completed its primary mission when it passed Saturn on November 20, 1980, and then began an extended mission to explore the regions and boundaries of the outer heliosphere. On August 25, 2012, Voyager 1 become the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space. Voyager 1’s extended mission is expected to continue until around 2025, when its radioisotope thermoelectric generators will no longer supply enough electric power to operate any of its scientific instruments, and it will float far from earth and out of service.
When it was launched, it was loaded with an extra package: the Voyager Golden Records. The Records contain sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for future humans, who may find them.
Carl Sagan noted that “The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced space-faring civilizations in interstellar space. But the launching of this ‘bottle’ into the cosmic ‘ocean’ says something very hopeful about life on this planet.”
These are the images of life on Earth compiled to be shared with a future alien civilization.