Voyager 1

Voyager 1 has left our solar system, something not expected when it was launched in 1977.

Voyager 1 photo

Voyager 1 (via NPR/NASA)

According to this NPR article, it has an 8-track tape on board. High-tech stuff at the time.

Gene Roddenberry knew all about possibilities and impossibilities, though, and started work on the first Star Trek film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1975 (released in 1979). In that movie, the Voyager spacecraft was returning to earth after encountering (and being changed by) non-human intelligence.

There will come a time when our Voyager 1 stops sending signals back to us. The question will be why. Did Voyager 1 reach the end of its technological life? Or will it be because it was engulfed by a Star Trek-type encounter?

And isn’t just possible, however unlikely, that when we Earthlings begin our 5-year mission to boldly go where no one has gone before, that the future USS Enterprise (I’m sure we will have a series of spaceships named that) may find Voyager 1 and have their science officer extract data that it’s been collecting since we last heard from it? Oh, yes.

V’Ger, phone home. Especially if you’re bringing guests home for supper.

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