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