The Vinyl Frontier: The Story of the Voyager Golden Record

Bloomsbury Sigma. May 2019. 288p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781472956132. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781472956118. MUSIC
OrangeReviewStarThe most intriguing stories are often found in the details, and this is the case for music writer Scott's engaging and conversational look at the creation of the gold-plated records that are still traveling throughout the universe on the two Voyager probes launched in 1977. The records were intended to bring sounds, music, sentiments of peace, and even pictures to potential alien races, and Carl Sagan and his team delivered a stunningly high-tech LP (one copy of The Sounds of the Earth travels with each probe). Descriptions of the time and intellect devoted to the process of content selection, as well as the ingenious methods of data transfer used for the nonaudio components, are fascinating, but the personal tales behind this "message to the stars" are just as enthralling. Sagan, the leading scientist behind the Voyager recordings, published his own account, Murmurs of the Earth, just after Voyager launched, but Scott has the benefit of a wider range of information and sources and an objective view of the process. This is also a very relatable and human way to approach deep space exploration.
VERDICT A must for all libraries.
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