This is a diversion to the article Creating the 21st Century: An Overview Overview
OK when I say that Voyager 1 is about to “travel farther than any human made object.” I know that Pioneer 10 and 11 were on a trajectory to leave the Solar System when we lost communication with them in 2003 and 1995, respectively. They might have crossed the great divide, but I think Voyager 1 has already gone farther than they would have gone if they are still going. Besides it’s still sending back messages; messages that take 18 hours to reach earth. That counts for something.
Before posting this, I did a little tour on Wikipedia about the two Voyagers and the two Pioneers. The Pioneers had a plaque to communicate to any aliens who might find it some idea of who we are. I remember this well.
It seems that Isaac Asimov and others got into some controversy about sending naked images of humans into space. When the Voyagers were sent, instead of a plaque they sent a record album, which seems quaint as I listen to music on my Ipod.
It included images, sounds of earth and representative music, including Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F and Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode.
In a Saturday Night Live episode, Steve Martin played a psychic who predicted that the next week’s Time Magazine cover would be a four word message from extraterrestrials who found the record: “Send More Chuck Berry.”