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With the HUMANS project, a message that space is for everyone

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Nourie Flayhan

Nourie Flayhan

By Sara Cody | Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

When the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft launched in 1977, they each carried a Golden Record, a special project spearheaded by astrophysicist Carl Sagan, in addition to the scientific instruments necessary for their mission to explore the outer reaches of our solar system. Part time capsule, part symbolic ambassador of goodwill, the Golden Record comprises sounds, images, music, and greetings in 59 languages, providing a snapshot of life on Earth for the edification of any intelligent extraterrestrial beings the spacecraft might encounter.

Today, while Voyager 1 and 2 hurtle on through interstellar space more than 14 billion and 12 billion miles away, respectively, the Golden Record and the iconic etching on its cover has inspired a new student-run initiative, theHumanity United with MIT Art and Nanotechnology in Space (HUMANS) project, which aims to send a message that hits a little closer to home: that space is for everyone.

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