Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The most-traveled record in the universe

Here’s a fun question: what is the rarest and most unattainable gold record in the universe?  Actually, there are two. 

They’re the phonograph records attached to the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft which were launched in 1977.  They’re actual records made from gold (gold is very durable and will last for millions of years out in the cold of space.)  They are the standard 12 inches in diameter and designed to play at 16 2/3 RPM. 

What’s on the record?  A bunch of sounds and photographs of earth.  And yes, this includes music.  Most of it is classical and folk music–but there is one rock song: “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry.  Voyager 1 is 14.6 billion miles away while Voyager 2 is 12.1 billion miles out there. 

If there’s life orbiting the star AC+79 3888 in the constellation Ophiuchus, let’s hope they kept their turntables–40,000 years from now.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38319 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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