Blue Dot 73: Emer Reynolds

Sep 21, 2017

Dave talks to Emer Reynolds, the director of the new documentary The Farthest, which aired on PBS Nova this summer. It tells the epic story of the twin Voyager spacecraft.

Launched in 1977, the Voyagers were the designed to tour the outer solar system thanks to an alignment that happens once in every 175 years. Voyager 1 flew by Jupiter and Saturn and then was flung into the outer solar system above the plane of the planets becoming the fastest object ever made by humans. In 2012, it entered interstellar space becoming, literally, the farthest.

Voyager 2 went on to explore Uranus and Neptune before also heading out toward the stars. Both carry the famous Golden Record, containing music, greetings and images — a time capsule of life on Earth sent to the stars. The records and the spacecraft will last a billion years, far outlasting any other human artifact. In the film, Reynolds interviews nearly every surviving member of the teams that engineered the missions, did the science and made the record.

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