NASA Beams Crowdsourced Tweet To The Universe On Voyager I's 40th Birthday

Voyager (NASA.gov)

In honor of Voyager 1’s 40th anniversary in space, NASA broadcast a "happy birthday" message to the now interstellar probe. NASA gave the public an opportunity to submit and vote on a tweet to be sent to humankind’s most distant spacecraft. The winning message, “we offer friendship across the stars. You are not alone," was submitted by Oliver Jenkins and announced on September 5 via NASA Television. Beamed to Voyager 1, the greeting will travel, perhaps forever, through interstellar space. At its present velocity of 38,000 MPH, Voyager 1 will reach the nearest star system in 70,000 years. Its active status will end in 2020.

Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1977, sixteen days after its twin, Voyager 2. The Voyager spacecraft had a primary mission of exploring Jupiter and Saturn, the largest and second-largest planets in our solar system, as well as Saturn’s rings, and the larger moons of the two gas giants. Both Voyager spacecraft had an expected lifetime of five years, but due the success of their original missions, NASA commissioned the identical probes to continue exploring our outer solar system and beyond. When their primary mission finally concluded in 1989, Voyagers 1 & 2 had observed the four outermost planets, including 48 of their moons, ring systems, and magnetic fields.


Voyager 1’s most profound moment came in 1990, when it was a mere 4 billion miles from the Sun. As part of a solar system portrait, the probe turned itself around and took a picture, capturing the Earth as nothing more than a “Pale Blue Dot,” 0.012 pixels wide. Famed astronomer and author Carl Sagan wrote of the photo in 1990, “everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives, on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” Voyager 2 remains the only spacecraft to have explored Uranus and Neptune. They are the farthest artificial objects from Earth; Voyager 1 officially left our solar system in 2013.

In addition to the tweet, Voyager 1 carries other messages for extraterrestrialswho come across Voyager 1. Onboard each probe is a Golden Record containing a collection of images, music, 55 languages, and various sounds of our home world. Designed to function as a time capsule, the Golden Record contains instructions on how to play it, and even functions as a phonograph. The covers contain a 2 cm plate of Uranium-238, half of which will decay in 4.51 billion years. This serves as an atomic clock which civilizations that encounter Voyager 1 can use to date how long ago it was launched. An engraving of the self-contained phonograph, as well as the rotation speed at which it should be played, appear on the upper left.

Carl Sagan, executive producer of the record, said “The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space.” Nick Sagan, Dr. Sagan’s son, is the voice behind the greeting in English: “hello from the children of the planet Earth.” The copper cover also displays a collage of star maps as well as elementary chemistry and mathematical codes.

Voyager 1 is now nearly 13 billion miles from Earth, more than 3 times the distance to Pluto. As it wanders deeper into interstellar space, humanity can only continue to wonder who, or what, will come across Voyager 1 and unlock its treasure. The Voyager mission immortalized our species and ensures that our story will still be known long after we are gone.

Win McNamee/Getty Images // CBS Television Distribution

In December, President Donald Trump established the United States Space Force, a sixth branch of the United States Army.

The goal of the force is to protect United States assets in outer space from foreign rivals and is slated to cost around $2 billion in the next five years.

Today, Trump unveiled the official logo for the Space Force, but people think it bears a striking resemblance to another iconic symbol.

Keep reading...
Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images // JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

People were stunned this past July when President Donald Trump tweeted that four Congresswomen of color—Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)—should "go back" to where they came from.

He also falsely claimed they "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe..."

Three of the Congresswomen were born in the United States. Omar was a refugee from Somalia. All are Americans.

At a campaign rally days later in North Carolina, President Donald Trump mentioned Congresswoman Omar—and got a strong reaction from the crowd.

While bigotry is common at a Trump rally, it became even more blatant when Trump's supporters began chanting "Send her back," echoing the calls from Trump's tweet for them to "go back" to where they came from.

Keep reading...
Fox News

As Democratic House impeachment managers make their case against President Donald Trump, one of his favorite news networks is going to lengths to keep the bevy of evidence against him from reaching their viewers' ears.

At first, Fox News tried scrolling Trump's so-called accomplishments alongside live video of the historic proceedings. Now, the network's latest attempt to distract from the Democrats' arguments is raising eyebrows even higher.

Keep reading...
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images // Alex Wong/Getty Images

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was one of the first witnesses in the House of Representatives' initial impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Vindman testified before the House's select committee on impeachment late last year after hearing Trump's infamous July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Keep reading...
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The administration of President Donald Trump relies on its white Evangelical base to keep its support consistently hovering around 40 percent.

In keeping with this, President Donald Trump often invokes anti-abortion values he claims to hold dear. He's falsely claimed that Democrats are determined to rip babies from their mothers' wombs and that parents often discuss with their doctors whether or not to keep the baby...after the baby is born.

These claims are patently false, but they rile up the base.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seems to be playing right along in promoting abortion hysteria, if a recent speech is any indication.

Keep reading...
Fox News

After hours of evidence presented by the House Impeachment managers in the Senate trial against President Donald Trump, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) strayed even further into the abyss of fanaticism as he defended the President to reporters.

Graham, a Trump critic turned ally, didn't attempt to refute any of the myriad evidence laid out by Democrats, but instead dismissed the claims that Trump did anything wrong when he withheld congressionally approved aid from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into his political rival.

Keep reading...