If Google wanted to demonstrate viral marketing while entertaining us, it certainly succeeded with today’s UFO logo and links to ‘unexplained phenomenon’. As speculation covers a galaxy of possible explanations, there’s one sure fact: today’s a significant day in space exploration.On September 5, 1977, NASA launched the amazing Voyager 1, part of a twinned exploration of the universe. Although Voyager 2 was actually launched first, Voyager 1 has traveled faster and farther due to its flight plan.
Voyager 1, at more than 10 billion miles from the sun (as of June) is now the most distant human-created object from Earth. It’s also farther away from the sun than any known natural solar system object, other than some comets.The Voyager missions werre not only exciting scientifically, but controversial as well. They included golden records containing Earth information and a map pointing to the blue marble. Created by Dr. Carl and Ann Sagan, the disk’s images included a drawing of a male and pregnant female.Some protested the images. SomeÂ protested sending out a map that oculd lead enemy aliens back home to us. After all, if there is anyone else out there, Voyager might be a UFO to them.
No matter, Voyager sailed on. The mission is still producing usable data, and has proven to be the long-lasting spaceship to “seek out new worlds”, to paraphrase Star Trek’s well-known opening.Along the way, Voyager has provided incredible photos and exploration data. JPL maintains a Voyager website where you can access the golden record, space sounds, and other Voyager information.You can also read the debunking of the story that Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin reported a UFO on the Apollo 11 mission here. Related: Mytbusters debunk the Apollo moon landings hoax theories.