Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition: only available through October 20 on Kickstarter

I’ve launched a very special Kickstarter with two friends, Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad. A year in the making (and many more years on our minds), the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition is the first vinyl release of the stunning golden phonograph record launched by NASA in 1977 aboard the Voyager spacecraft, one of which is now traveling through interstellar space. The deluxe 40th Anniversary Edition box set will only be available through October 20 on Kickstarter.

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The original Golden Record was a gift from humanity, an introduction to our civilization for any extraterrestrials who might encounter the spacecraft, perhaps billions of years in the future. But it was also a gift to humanity.

The Voyager Golden Record contains the story of Earth expressed in sounds, images, and science: Earth's greatest music from myriad cultures and eras, from Bach and Beethoven to Blind Willie Johnson and Chuck Berry, Senegalese percussion to Solomon Island panpipes. Dozens of natural sounds of our planet -- birds, a train, a baby's cry, a kiss -- are collaged into a lovely sound poem. There are spoken greetings in 55 human languages, and one whale language, and more than one hundred images encoded in analog that depict who, and what, we are. Etched on the record’s gold-plated aluminum jacket is a diagram explaining where it came from, and how to play it.

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Astronomer and science educator Carl Sagan chaired the visionary committee that created the original Voyager Golden Record forty years ago. Astronomer and SETI pioneer Frank Drake was the technical director, writer Ann Druyan was creative director, science writer Timothy Ferris produced the record, artist Jon Lomberg designed it, and artist Linda Salzman Sagan organized the greetings.

Voyager I entered interstellar space in 2013. It’s almost 13 billion miles away from Earth, and in about 40,000 years it will be within 1.6 light years of a star in the constellation of Camelopardalis. Voyager II is right on its tail.

The creation and launch of the Voyager Golden Record was a testament to the power of science and art to ignite humanity’s sense of curiosity, delight, and wonder. That is the mindset with which as we approach this effort to publicly release the Voyager Golden Record as actual phonograph records for the very first time. It is as relevant now as it was in 1977. Perhaps even more so.

An exquisitely-designed objet d'art, our limited edition Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition box set will only be available through this Kickstarter. It is the ultimate album package of the ultimate album package.

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The LPs will be complemented by a beautifully-designed hardbound book of the captivating images from the original interstellar message, glorious images of the planets returned to Earth from the Voyager probes, compelling essays, and ephemera from the project's history.

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Included in each set is a color, plastic digital download card with a code to access all of the audio in MP3 or FLAC format. A lithograph of the Golden Record cover diagram, printed with gold metallic ink on archival paper, will be enclosed in the box.

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We are honored that Timothy Ferris, the original producer of the Golden Record, will be in the recording studio with us to remaster the audio for vinyl, drawing from the highest-quality sources we can.

The vast majority of the funds received from this historic reissue will go directly to the high production costs, licensing, and royalties incurred in creating this exquisitely designed and fully-authorized box set. If we hit our goal, we are excited to donate 20% of our net proceeds from this project to the Carl Sagan Institute: The Pale Blue Dot and Beyond at Cornell University.

Our hope is that this release of The Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition will provoke questions about our place in the universe, open our minds to possibility, and serve as a reminder that the future is really up to all of us.

Your support means the world(s) to us. Thank you.

Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition (Kickstarter)

Video by Remedy Editorial

Above photos and artwork from the original Voyager Golden Record project by NASA/JPL-Caltech, NAIC Arecibo Observatory (a facility of the NSF), and Jon Lomberg.

For more background on the original Golden Record, visit Voyager: The Interstellar Mission.