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Meant For Space Aliens, Earthlings Get To Hear Voyager Golden Record

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Back in 1977, NASA launched two interstellar probes. They were called Voyager 1 and 2. And onboard each spacecraft was a golden record that was filled with sounds from our planet.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHUCK BERRY SONG, "JOHNNY B GOODE")

GREENE: With everything from Chuck Berry to Bach to a pygmy girl's initiation song. This has been called humanity's most famous mixtape. It even includes greetings in 55 different languages.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Speaking French).

GREENE: Plus sounds of animals and machines.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAIN HORN)

GREENE: But until now, only a dozen copies of this special record existed. And that is where David Pescovitz comes in. He's part of this group that's funding the reissue of this historic record through Kickstarter. He says the gold record really caught his imagination.

DAVID PESCOVITZ: When you're 7 years old and you hear a group of people were asked by NASA to create a message for extraterrestrials and they've launched it into space, that sparks the imagination. For me, the Voyager Golden Record lies at the intersection of science and art as a way to instill a sense of curiosity and wonder and possibility.

GREENE: That's the voice of David Pescovitz. He's part of a group that is funding the reissue of the historic Golden Record, which has now traveled more than 12 billion miles from Earth on Voyager 1. And while it will now be getting a bigger audience here on Earth, the search for alien ears continues. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.