The Voyagers: Love & Risk on Carl Sagan’s cosmic time capsule.

“There is no way to forestall what can’t be fathomed, no way to guess what hurts we are trying to protect ourselves from. We have to know in order to love. We have to risk everything. We have to open ourselves up to contact, even with the possibility of disaster.”

~ Penny Lane, The Voyagers

In 1977, NASA sent two spacecraft—Voyager 1 and Voyager 2—on an epic journey. No return was possible.

Eventually, the Voyagers would escape our solar system and travel through interstellar space, which finally occurred in the last decade.

Each spacecraft carried a golden record album with a compilation of the best “samples” of life on planet Earth: salutations in 55 languages; the sounds of birds, whales, thunder, the ocean; several pieces by Bach; Navajo Indian chants and 115 images documenting human life, among other human curiosities.



The opening letter begins with this message from Jimmy Carter:

“This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.” 

Images carved on one side of the disc explain how to play the record.

According to Carl Sagan, who headed the operation, “the spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced space-faring civilizations in interstellar space.”

Among the sounds on the Voyagers recordings, was the beating of a woman’s heart. A woman in love.

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, his partner on the project, fell madly in love during their work together.

“It was an Eureka moment,” said Druyan about the moment they realized, “I finally understood what it is to make a scientific discovery.”


Sagan then suggested that Ann should include the sounds of her own body and heartbeat in the samples.

“The golden record became their love letter to humankind and to each other,” says filmmaker Penny Lane, who, 30 years later, encapsulated this story into her own journey, in this magical short film.

“In the summer of 2010, I began my own hopeful voyage into the unknown. This film is a love letter to my fellow traveler.”

The Voyagers from Dipper Films.

“Carl & I knew we were the beneficiaries of chance. That chance can be so kind, that we could find one another in the vastness of space, and the immensity of time. We knew that every moment should be cherished as the precious and unlikely coincidence that it was.”


Ann Druyan on the Voyagers and Sagan, in her own words:


You know, a thousand million years is a long time…

“Ultimately, you have to ask yourself, how much you hope for, and how much risk you’re willing to take…”



More on space, love & us: 

>> Are we alone in the universe?

>> “Come closer to  me, come closer. I promise you, it will be beautiful.”

>> “I love you in secret, between the shadow & the soul.” 




{Come away with me?}



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Andrea Balt
Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Rebelle Society, Wellness Alchemist at Rebelle Wellness & Professional Dream Chaser at Creative Rehab. Unfinished book with a love for greens, bikes and poetry; raised by wolves & adopted by people; not trying to make art but to Be Art. Holds a BA in Journalism & Mass Communication, an MFA in Creative Writing & a Holistic Health Coach degree from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®. In her work she tries to reflect the wholeness of the human experience by combining Art & Health + Mind & Body + Darkness & Brilliance into a more alive, unabridged and unlimited edition of ourselves. She is also on a quest to reinstate Creativity as one of our essential Human Rights to (hopefully and soon) be included in the UN Declaration. Connect with her in the Social Media Jungle via Facebook, Twitter & Instagram and sign up for her FREE MuseLetter.


  • Richard La Rosa
    Richard La Rosa commented on October 3, 2012 Reply
    What a sweet ode to Sagan and his true love and the journey of the Voyagers, Andréa. There is something about Penny Lane’s film that is eerie in an old fashioned way. So true that it’s unlikely a “record” of the sort Carl and Ann cut — a memory of Earth and an epic song of two star-crossed lovers old enough to embrace their fate — would make a voyage to the stars now. It has the aura of hopeful sincerity that was typical of visionaries that came of age in the sixties and seventies. We know too much now and we’ve been burned too many times to hurl such quaint notions into the universe. And that’s a damned shame.
  • SR Atchley
    SR Atchley commented on January 21, 2013 Reply
  • Michael Beck commented on January 21, 2013 Reply
    Their Love-story is the is true exploration of cosmos. Flipping golden frizzbes into space in hopes of alien response seems like fishing for shark while youre treading water.

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