NASA confirmed Thursday that after 36 years of space travel and months of heated debate among scientists, a spacecraft from Earth Voyager 1 has indeed left our solar system and had entered interstellar space more than a year ago.
Voyager 1, a space probe, which was loaded with scientific instruments and launched into space in 1977, has gold plaque strapped to its side, containing a selection of images, sounds and music from our planet. This disc includes about a dozen world music tracks, including Mugam song of Azerbaijan.
A sister craft, launched the same year - Voyager 2 - is hard on its heels distance wise, though headed on a different trajectory.
Both have recorded a plethora of data and taken wonderful photographs of planets.
But being the faster of the two (travelling at 19 km-a-second) Voyager 1 is about to become the first man-made object to leave the solar system.
Still very much alive and "listening" for a few more years yet, this little fridge-sized space craft is destined to become the first physical "calling card" to whatever is out there.
The contents of the Voyager Golden Record is a collection of 116 images and a variety of natural sounds, such as those made by surf, wind, and thunder, and animal sounds, including the songs of birds and whales. To this they added musical selections from different cultures and eras, spoken greetings in fifty-nine languages, and printed messages from President Jimmy Carter and U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim. The items were selected for NASA by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan of Cornell University.