20 billion kilometres away, humankind’s loneliest piece of technology sent us a faint signal yesterday. And the message was: I’m still here, I’m still in working order, what would you like me to do?
We live in a time when the world is terrified of so much recently unveiled technology. Yet here’s a remnant of 50-year-old tech acting for all the world like the little engine that could.
Yep, Voyager 2 is still transmitting
It was back in 1977 that NASA took advantage of a rare planetary alignment to launch a space probe called Voyager 2. Its mission? To send back data about Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune while on its way to study the outer limits of our solar System. 46 years later – yesterday – Voyager 2 is still transmitting. It’s not lost in space.
Hang on a minute.
Are you telling me that tech from fifty years ago is still hurtling through the void at 56,000 km/h, still has line of sight with us and can transmit radio signals which we receive? That this space probe is still talking to us?
Moreover, that we can send Voyager 2 a signal to adjust its antenna?
May I share with you why I feel absurdly proud of yesterday’s event?
This is not technology that’s going to steal jobs away from people. It’s not going to steal an election. It’s not going to blow up between someone’s legs as it overheats, trying to power an EV motorcycle.
Voyager 2’s not going to do anything, actually. Not for us. But one day, another civilization in another solar system will sight it and confirm it as a UFO. A civilization who, like us, have been wondering if there’s anything else ‘out there’. And this will be their proof. When they analyze it, they will deduce Voyager 2 came not from a race of beings hellbent on mutually assured destruction. But a race with an inquisitive, peaceful nature.
They will see the best of us.
And this alien race will race will look up at their stars and be profoundly moved as they share with each other this new knowledge:
“We are not alone.”
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