Voyaging: Shutdown & Startup, Sales, Shots, and Show Times
Ready for another roundup of Voyager news? It's been forty two years (and two months since I posted here), so I should hope so. Here we go.
Voyager 2's Shutdown and Startup
Seemingly okay now, Voyager 2 gave everybody a scare earlier this month when it had a total system shutdown after failing to perform a regular repositioning maneuver directed from ~16 light years away. Luckily, the safety procedures worked and in no time Voyager 2 was functioning again like normal.
I had some fun with the tweet from the NASA Voyager account:
But seriously, this is a taste of things to come. Voyager 2 is the older of the two space probes, and has seen more system failures than Voyager 1 over the course of the last four decades. Both Voyagers will most likely power down within the next five years.
The Voyager Record: A Transmission on SPD's 2010s Bestseller List
Some personal big news: The Voyager Record: A Transmission came in at number 125 on Small Press Distribution's Top 150 Books of the Decade. I'm really blown away by this, and by the continued love that people have for the book. Thanks to everyone who made this possible.
The Pale Blue Dot Turns 30
NASA rereleased a special remastered version of the famous Pale Blue Dot photo taken by Voyager 1 on Valentine's Day back in 1990, thirty years ago. Take a look at the whole Earth it in all it's seeming insignificance from 4 billion miles away:
I haven't watched this Amazon Prime movie yet but I think I have may have to: In Troop Zero, a girl hears about the message being recorded to send on Voyager and she assembles her girl scout troop to record what she hopes will be an important message from humanity.
This looks like an earnest homage, maybe verging on sentimental—like Wonderstruck was for the American Museum of Natural History—hitting on the the idea of the idea of the mission. Historically I wonder how accurate it is since Carl Sagan and NASA never asked the public for their input on the record contents. We had a chance for that with the One Earth Message but blew it.
Hot Cousin's Don't Talk To Strangers
What I love about the record is that there are infinite combinations of art form and interpretations of it. The women-identifying perfromance collective Hot Cousin brings its take on the Golden Record to the stage with Don't Talk to Strangers at the Vault Festival in London this month.
From the Vault Festival page:
Told through visually rich theatrical language, this ensemble show layers complex sound-art, celestial lighting and transcendental movement over a modern day science fiction story. Structured like a mixtape, ‘Don’t Talk to Strangers’ is told through a series of vignettes, each moment building on the last; until the gravitational pull forces the story to fold in on itself. Come and witness both the vastness of interstellar space and the domestic intimacy of a love story. Flicker by flicker, Hot Cousin light the stage until it looks like the middle of the cosmos.
The show is on February 27 to March 1.
[Pale Blue Dot image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech ]