Sunday, 21 August 2011

Happy Birthday Voyager 2

On August 20 1977 Voyager 2 was launched and is now about 14 000 000 000 km from Earth. Signals from the space ship are presently taking 26 and a half hours to get back to Planet Earth. It's been going for half my life time, heading out of the Solar System taking a few photos on the way. Now it is sending back information about the point where stellar space becomes interstellar space.

Since it set of we have all got mobile phones and computers and zillions of TV programs including Big Brother. We have also had famine in Africa, a tsunami has ripped south east Asia apart, floods and earth quakes have devastated Pakistan An American President and a British Prime Minister went to war because they didn't like someone. Smallpox has gone but replaced by AIDS. Afghanistan continues to suffer war and death because to is in the wrong place. Several countries have built nuclear bombs but not yet uses them and we have had genocide in Central Africa, Global Warming has been invented, Ethnic Cleansing replaced Yugoslavia and East Germany vanished of the map of Europe and a black man is president of a country that is 10 trillion pounds in debt. Mars has had several visitors looking for life and England has had several mobs looking for something to burn and Maggie Thatcher came and went and England FC have failed on 8 occasions to win the World Cup. the population of the planet has gone up by 2 billion to almost 7 billion, most of then want a car and a lot of the have got a car and oil is running out and flat screen plasma tellies are all the rage and the biggest thing on the planet, the internet, doesn't actually exist, it just IS, looming over us all like big brother waiting to pounce or be completely disable by a coming solor storm. Talk about all our eggs in one basket. Glaciers and ice caps are joining thousands of animals and plants on something called the "Endangered List". Everyone knows we must "Do something" but just as many people know that in reality there is nothing we can do so no one does anything apart from think, "2050 is a long way of".

And Voyager 2 will just carry on going and given the emptiness of space could just keep going for ever. One day in 5 billion years a brief flash of light from the direction Voyager came from will announce the end of the Solar System and Voyager will just drift on and on wandering why no one talks to it any more.

Or maybe some time next week it will be found by an alien space craft whose occupants will say, "Looks like we have found somewhere interesting. Lets invade."

Happy birthday Voyager 2. Live for ever.

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