back to article Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

Voyager 2, the venerable space probe launched in 1977, “stopped” last week. Don't dig up your cache of food or prepare to welcome our Oort Cloud Overlords: the pause is a result of celestial mechanics. As the Tweet below explains, Voyager 2 is heading on its merry way and Earth is swinging around Sol as usual. But last week …

  1. Keef
    Joke

    Kids of today...

    "The record comes complete with a stylus and is designed to be interpretable by another technological civilisation"

    Do they mean my children?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Kids of today...

      Stylus? What is this stylus thingie? Waddayamean it is not 8 tentacle multitouch?

      1. frank ly

        Re: Kids of today...

        Theres also a DVD containing copies of HiFi magazines from the 60's and 70's. We'll seem like total idiots to anyone who manages to read them.

        1. Mpeler
          Angel

          Re: Kids of today...HiFi magazines from the 60's and 70's

          Well, as long as they have cartoons by Rodrigues they'll be OK.....

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. asdf Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Kids of today...

      >Do they mean my children?

      Nah Jeff Bridges already retrieved it and this is all part of the cover story.

  2. TonyJ Silver badge

    Wonderful pieces of engineering

    See title.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wonderful pieces of engineering

      Amen to that!

      +1

    2. Avatar of They
      Happy

      Re: Wonderful pieces of engineering

      Certainly something when the only thing after all this time that will ultimately be the downfall of voyager is how long 'radiation' lasts in a battery.

    3. Mark 65

      Re: Wonderful pieces of engineering

      The years when it seems things were really made to last. Can't help but think a modern one would have had it's batteries fail by now and bits starting falling off.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: Wonderful pieces of engineering

        >Can't help but think a modern one would have had it's batteries fail by now and bits starting falling off.

        Don't sell modern engineering short. The Mars rovers have had some serious endurance as well and they also aren't close to finished (well one is but still greatly exceeded expected lifespan) so lets wait and see.

  3. Yag

    I was a bit sad when I read the headline...

    I thought that V2 was not functional any longer. Forgot I was on El Reg for a minute...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I was a bit sad ...

      A bit sad? My first thought was that it had crashed into the quarantine barrier...

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: I was a bit sad ...

        Quarantine barrier? You mean the one they errected because they took offence at the fact that we (or at least some of us) play cricket?

        1. Fink-Nottle

          Re: I was a bit sad ...

          > You mean the one they errected because they took offence at the fact that we (or at least some of us) play cricket?

          That's the Boycott barrier.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Alien

            Re: I was a bit sad ...

            The Bubble is a perfect sphere, twelve billion kilometres in radius (about twice as wide as the orbit of Pluto), and centred on the sun. It came into being as a whole, in an instant — but because the Earth was eight light-minutes from its centre, the time lag before the last starlight reached us varied across the sky, giving rise to the growing circle of darkness. Stars vanished first from the direction in which The Bubble was closest, and last where it was furthest away — precisely behind the sun.

            The Bubble presents an immaterial surface which behaves, in many ways, like a concave version of a black hole’s event horizon. It absorbs sunlight perfectly, and emits nothing but a featureless trickle of thermal radiation (far colder than the cosmic microwave background, which no longer reaches us). Probes which approach the surface undergo red shift and time dilation — but experience no measurable gravitational force to explain these effects. Those on orbits which intersect the sphere appear to crawl to an asymptotic halt and fade to black; most physicists believe that in the probe’s local time, it swiftly passes through The Bubble, unimpeded — but they’re equally sure that it does so in our infinitely distant future. Whether or not there are further barriers beyond is unknown — and even if there are not, whether an astronaut who took the one-way voyage would find the universe outside unaged, or would emerge just in time to witness the moment of its extinction, remains an open question.

  4. Kharkov
    Facepalm

    The year is 2065...

    And the world's richest hi-fi nerd, searching for that perfect vinyl sound, in a world where stylus' are no longer available, launches the 'Recover Voyager' programme...

    And having brought at least one of them back, he'll retreat to his perfect-acoustics room, fit that last stylus and... listen to his Queen albums!

    What? They had a record on it but NOT a stylus? Well there's a good story wasted!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: The year is 2065...

      And having brought at least one of them back, he'll retreat to his perfect-acoustics room, fit that last stylus and...

      ... hears LBJ telling the story of who REALLY killed JFK.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The year is 2065...

        And UN General Secretary Kurt Waldheim reveals exactly what he was up to in the Balkans and Italy between1942 and '45.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The year is 2065...

          And UN General Secretary Kurt Waldheim reveals exactly what he was up

          Kebab removal services?

      2. GitMeMyShootinIrons

        Re: The year is 2065...

        "And having brought at least one of them back, he'll retreat to his perfect-acoustics room, fit that last stylus and..."

        Nah, it'll be Brotherhood of Man with 'Save all your kisses for me'. Not half, pop-picker!

      3. ravenviz

        Re: The year is 2065...

        Hope they included some 1p's to put on top of the stylus to stop it jumping when they keep not putting it back into the cover and leaving it on the floor!

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Very low chance of discovery...

      Interpretation - possible, but also fairly unlikely IMHO.

      OTOH it still has FAR more chance than any of the "gold records" I've sent out into space...

    2. Keef

      "What are the chances of anyone ever finding the discs, let alone understanding the instructions to reproduce them?"

      Obligatory xkcd reference:

      https://xkcd.com/384/

      1. Smooth Newt
        Mushroom

        "What are the chances of anyone ever finding the discs, let alone understanding the instructions to reproduce them?"

        Hopefully none whatsoever.

        If a civilization has the ability to detect and retrieve a spacecraft from interstellar space (although not apparently to make a record stylus) then we will probably be wiped out. In our own history that's what happened to just about every civilization when a much more technologically advanced one showed up.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          "In our own history that's what happened to just about every civilization when a much more technologically advanced one showed up."

          But as our own Tim Worstall has recently pointed out (or was it in his book, I can't remember), extra-terrestrial civilisations will not reckon our resources are particularly valuable and nor will they want slaves who are considerably harder to keep running and less capable than the robots ones they already have. Our value to them will probably be purely the entertainment of watching us.

          Then there's the fact that unless we grow out of our yobbish ways, we probably won't last long enough to be that advanced, and so we can probably infer a similar constraint on our would-be overlords. That is, their very existence suggests that they are more mature than we are (or were).

          1. Suricou Raven

            There was an Outer Limits episode that addressed the slavery thing. Aliens came to enslave a group of humans, and one of the humans went so far as to point out that this was silly: Any civilization that can build starships has no need of human slaves.

            The alien explained it very simply: Their culture considers the use of mechanical labor 'demeaning.' Presumably slaves serve for them as a form of status symbol: Anyone can afford a robot, but having slaves to tend to their needs is the mark of true wealth.

          2. iranu

            Oh I don't know, we might taste awfully good.

          3. Smooth Newt

            @Ken Hagen

            >extra-terrestrial civilisations will not reckon our resources are particularly valuable

            It doesn't make any difference. Don't assume that Jean-Luc Picard will be in charge of the starship that comes visiting - it might be Pol Pot.

            In our own history thousands of Indigenous Australians were hunted down and slaughtered simply for someone's amusement, as sport. We can be wiped out for not immediately embracing the great god Thaal, or even just so they can try out their new ray gun.

        2. another_vulture

          "Wiped out" is a continuum

          When an advanced civilization encounters a less-advanced civilization, the latter is "wiped out", sort of. In human history, most less-advanced civilizations are assimilated, not totally destroyed. The extent to which a less-advanced civilization contributes to the more-advanced civilization is roughly in proportion to the unique "useful" features of the less-advanced civilization. Why is this a problem? If you are worried about your biological progeny instead of your intellectual progeny, you should be worried much more about the technological singularity or various existential risks instead of worrying about ETs.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_catastrophic_risk

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        If you play it backwards

        it say "Kill the earthlings".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If you play it backwards

          Says pretty much the same if you play it forwards.

          1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: If you play it backwards

            Let's hope it doesn't say "I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle", and ends up in the hands of the Vl'hurgs (although a small dog might once again come to the rescue)

            OK, time to go, the one with the cassette tapes of the radio play in the pocket, please

    3. ColonelDare
      Happy

      See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAHprLW48no

    4. Graham Marsden
      Coat

      @1980s_coder

      > What are the chances of anyone ever finding the discs

      It depends on whether it it is first encoutered by a vastly powerful alien race who sends it back to us or gets shot up by a trigger-happy Klingon Captain...

    5. Dinky Carter

      I think what will happen is that in a couple of hundred years time a spaceship from Earth will simply make a day trip to go and retrieve the Voyagers and put them in a museum.

    6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      To be closely followed by another communication from the RIAA about region coding.

    7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "What are the chances of anyone ever finding the discs, let alone understanding the instructions to reproduce them?"

      ...a million to one...he said.

      1. P. Lee

        but still, they came.

    8. 142

      > What are the chances of anyone ever finding the discs, let alone understanding the instructions to reproduce them?

      Pretty damn small. In 40000 years, it will come within 1.5 LY of another star. And then continue through interstellar space.

      Though not strictly applicable to Voyager, for general context, you might find this analysis of the odds of coming close to a planet or star interesting: https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/2pe4oj/say_you_had_the_ability_to_fly_a_spacecraft_from_one_side_of_the_galaxy_to_the_other_in_a_straight_line_what_are_the_chances_that_you_run_into_something/cmvvytl

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    How do the manage the fuel

    I am amazed to read launched in 1977 and still has years of fuel left.

    What kind of fuel is used on these craft, is it nuclear or carbon based and how are they actually propelled/steered?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How do the manage the fuel

      Propulsion - none. Voyagers were launched via a grand slingshot approach, using various planets gravity to build up speed.

      Fuel in this case is a pint sized plutonium cell, which produces electricity for the inboard instruments.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: How do the manage the fuel

      Hydrazine thrusters presumably for orientation, I believe it uses a lot of gravity from other solar system objects to make progress.

      It generates on-board power for systems from plutonium oxide as fuel for radioisotope thermal generators.

    3. cray74

      Re: How do the manage the fuel

      I am amazed to read launched in 1977 and still has years of fuel left. What kind of fuel is used on these craft, is it nuclear or carbon based and how are they actually propelled/steered?

      Depending on the application, Voyager has 2 types of fuel.

      There's plenty of plutonium fuel left for electrical generation in the radioisotope thermal generator (RTG) until about 2025. The plutonium isotope 238 has an 87.7-year half-life, and Voyager is "only" 37 years old. The 420 watts of electricity from Voyager 2's RTG is down to 258 watts (as of early 2015).

      Voyager 2 also had 100kg of hydrazine at launch. This was used sparingly, mostly to set up planetary slingshots where gravity did the most work tossing Voyager from planet to planet. It has used 75kg over 37 years and needs very little to stay oriented in deep space.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: How do the manage the fuel

        Thanks for the answers, I must admit that most of that is completely, and I mean completely, over my head...

        And all that was 40 years ago.....before the interwebs and interplanetary communication......

        1. Phil Endecott Silver badge

          Re: How do the manage the fuel

          > I must admit that most of that is completely, and I mean

          > completely, over my head...

          I'm curious. What sort of person reads The Register, but doesn't know where Voyager 2 gets its electric power from? (Isn't that in the GCSE science curriculum?)

          Seriously, I may have completely misjudged this site's demographic!

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: How do the manage the fuel

            "I'm curious. What sort of person reads The Register, but doesn't know where Voyager 2 gets its electric power from? (Isn't that in the GCSE science curriculum?)"

            The kind of reader who doesn't study much about space exploration.. and who is probably a lot older than you might think..

            Being Scottish we didn't have GCSEs and we certainly didn't have a "science" class. We had Chemistry, Physics, Engineering Drawing and Mechanical Engineering.. none of which included any mention of Voyager 2 or it's power source. At least not when I was in School, although things may have changed since.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: How do the manage the fuel

              @ Khaptain

              It's a* thermocouple. A* thermocouple stuffed into a lump of something fiercely radioactive. Lumps of fiercely radioactive stuff are warmer than their surroundings as they're heated by their own decay. Stuff one end of a* thermocouple into a lump of fiercely radioactive stuff and you have simple and potentially** long lasting but feeble power source. Verbose quasitechnical crap like "plutonium-powered radioisotope thermoelectric generators" is just "gosh, aren't I clever" for "a* thermocouple stuffed into a lump of radioactive stuff"

              * Actually a great wodge of thermocouples. May as well make as much hay as possible while the plutonium shines.

              ** Life expectancy depends on the half-life of the source and its products and how quickly the various emissions from all that decay destroy your thermocouple(s)

          2. Teiwaz Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: How do the manage the fuel (without a Science GCSE)?

            Well, I didn't. I might have once, but forgotten (until I read this article, which actually mentions the fuel)

            I suspect a fair number of reg denizens are pre GCSE for a start.

            I took Computer Science, Geography, History, Commerce and Art & Design besides the obligatory Math and English, and on the year GCSE replaced GCE/CSE (it was a disaster, nobody knew What was going on).

            1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

              Re: How do the manage the fuel (without a Science GCSE)?

              I suspect a fair number of reg denizens are pre GCSE for a start.

              I'm on the cusp. I sat O level maths, then the following year I sat AO maths and GCSE everything else. I much preferred the O/AO format to the GCSE format. Two years later I sat A level maths, chemistry, physics, biology. But I never had a class called "science".

        2. SolidSquid

          Re: How do the manage the fuel

          Since it's early NASA, it's also likely that most of the calculations were done by hand and pre-programmed

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    NSFVoyager2?

    Why is that guy not safe for Voyager?

    1. Jedit

      "Why is that guy not safe for Voyager?"

      He probably wants to have sex with it.

  8. Blofeld's Cat
    Pint

    Golden record...

    Narrator: "Time: the future. Place: a distant museum in the Twilight Zone..."

    Zog: "This new exhibit came from that crashed spacecraft we found recently."

    Zarg: "Any idea what it is ?"

    Zog: "We think it's a drink coaster, probably for some form of Djinnan Tonnix as it came with a stick for the olive. Almost certainly a ritual object..."

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: Golden record...

      ... and if we're looking at this in proper "Time Team from Cetea Alpha 5" fashion, what we have is a golden disk that has a specially roughened surface to act as a grippy, load spreading surface so a support post doesn't slip sideways and a small nail used to centralise the post on the disk - accuracy was obviously important. From this we can infer the building was 1m high with a domed and thatched roof with finials and gable ends with a nice kitchenette and an area to play Scrabble ... The height shows the population was very short or worshiped on their knees ... Furthermore, since the disk is corrosion resistant gold and was positioned on the ground, the surface of the planet was marshy and soft, and the population couldn't wait to leave (as indicated by the crude drawing of a solar system on the disk).

      1. Adolph Clickbait

        Re: Golden record...

        Hmm, I reckon it'll turn up on ET version of the "Antiques Roadshow".

      2. Adolph Clickbait

        Re: Golden record...

        Hmm, I reckon it'll turn up on ET's version of the "Antiques Roadshow".

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Time Team

        I often think that any modern remake of 2001 (I know, but stranger things have happened) should feature Time Team. "....ere....Tony....have a look at this massive black monolith in trench 3".

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Time Team (Stranger things)

          > "I often think that any modern remake of 2001 (I know, but stranger things have happened) should feature Time Team. "....ere....Tony....have a look at this massive black monolith in trench 3"."

          Stranger things may have happened, but such a movie would inevitably resemble 'Hyperdrive' or 'Red Dwarf'.

      4. iranu

        Re: Golden record...

        Oh cool, a free Frisbee.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will Voyager 2 come back to haunt us as V'Ger ?

    1. Crisp Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: V'Ger

      Surely you mean V-Giny!

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: V'Ger

        How did you lose this ... V-Giny?

  10. Alister Silver badge
    Joke

    Isn't it amazing how they managed to build into Voyager the ability to send tweets, 25 years before Twitter was a thing...

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Coat

      It thinks it's posting to usenet.

      Rather than break the bad news to it, NASA just built an interface on the ground.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    ... 25 years before Twitter was a thing...

    Is Twitter a 'thing'?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ... 25 years before Twitter was a thing...

      Yes, it's a thing, a very bad thing...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: ... 25 years before Twitter was a thing...

        ...and it's on the internet too so it must part of The Internet of Things. Definitely a "thing" then.

  12. Herby Silver badge

    Good 'ol MJS(U)-77 pretty good thing.

    Yup still working after all these years. Those guys at JPL did a really good job. Of course having the antennas pointed with nice receivers is also important, given that the receiver isn't at 100%.

    Shoutout to Wayne and Len (DSN & Radioscience respectively).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good 'ol MJS(U)-77 pretty good thing.

      "Of course having the antennas pointed with nice receivers is also important"

      That's because everybody was sensible enough not to try putting any AI on board.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Good 'ol MJS(U)-77 pretty good thing.

        Yes, there's nothing wrong with the AE-35 unit. Yet...

  13. x 7

    What I don't understand is why V-ger (as shown in that Star Trek documentary) made all those funny noises instead of simply playing the record continuously. Did the aliens ignore it?

  14. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Typical short-sighted approach

    Power source will run out in 2025, after less than 50 years operation! If they'd thought ahead and bunged in an extra ounce or two of plutonium it could have gone on to the end of the century. Pah! Penny-pinchers!

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Typical short-sighted approach

      If you add, lets say half a kilo (ounces are only used for buying drugs imo) more plutonium, then you need to add a little more hydrazine for the thrusters to counteract the extra mass.

      But then your spacecraft masses a bit more, so the fourth stage needs to be slightly more beefy to get it into the correct orbit, then the third stage has to carry the extra mass of the plutonium, and the extra hydrazine, and the extra fuel in the upper stage, so it needs more fuel, and also extra fuel to lift that fuel...

      And so on until your extra half kilo of Pu ends up requiring an extra half ton of fuel in the first stage. The rocket equation is a pain in the bum.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Typical short-sighted approach

        I think the Americans still use groats and rods in space development. Its the only sign of irony in the whole nation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Typical short-sighted approach

          "I think the Americans still use groats and rods in space development. Its the only sign of irony in the whole nation."

          Being serious, American rocket scientists managed to produce equations that did not balance their units by the simple expedient of dividing pounds mass by pounds force to simplify equations.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Typical short-sighted approach

        "The rocket equation is a pain in the bum."

        What's needed is for Elon to get a bee in his bonnet about Loftrom Loops.

      3. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: Typical short-sighted approach

        if your rocket equation is a pain in the bum then surely you are having a bad problem and you will not go to space today, or maybe ever.

  15. Steve I

    Will our future intergalactic overlords, alerted to our existence by this bauble, cut us some slack for preferring vinyl?

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Joke

      Perhaps. More likely, they might laugh more at the fact that some still feel digital watches are a pretty neat idea

    2. Bgfreeman
      Linux

      possibly....

      Possibly for vinyl, yes, but they'll never forgive Betamax.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Gimp

      "cut us some slack for preferring vinyl?"

      We all have our little fetishes.

  16. Velv Silver badge
    Boffin

    Pointless Golden Record

    Chances of intelligent life finding it in the next 10,000 years and not already knowing we exist? - practically zero.

    We've been broadcasting our position for over a hundred years, electromagnetic waves travelling at light speed, which will be detected by intelligent life long before this physical heap of junk gets anywhere close (and I use the heap of junk term lovingly).

    We're looking for intelligent life elsewhere by listening, so if we make the assumption intelligent life would be able to figure out the record and stylus then we can also assume they will have figured out how to listen for us too.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Mage Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Pointless Golden Record

      Unintentional Radio probably only has about 5 light years range. Intentional Beamed transmissions maybe 100 light years range. They are unlikely.

      So other than very near stars, SETI via radio isn't going to work. Also civilisations may only use high power transmissions terrestrial less than 100 years and then only local lower power broadcast, Satellite (very little into space) and cable / fibre.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Pointless Golden Record

        Spectroscopic analysis looking for combinations of chemicals that suggest industrial activity rather than natural sources may find Extra Terrestrial Life, if we have a big enough space telescope. I'll be very surprised if a Radio Search works, even if we currently have 100,000 civilisations in the Milky Way using Radio. (assuming too they were using it x 100s or 1000s or 10,000s of years ago, the disk of the galaxy is about 100,000 light years across).

        Space is like a quarantine system, for travel and communication, unless there is some sort of FTL Starships and Ansibles possible.

  17. Queeg
    Alien

    Shouldn't be long before...

    The Psychlos get hold of the probe and come and wipe most of us out.

    Any chance of El Reg flogging Salt Filters along with the nuclear keyrings?

    1. Afernie
      Joke

      Re: Shouldn't be long before...

      I'll get started on learning how to fly a perfectly preserved Harrier jumpjet. From scratch. Never know when that might come in handy.

  18. msknight Silver badge

    Huh?

    “Command Moratorium Temperature Stabilization Period"

    CMTSP ... no use whatsoever.

    Can someone lend these guys a Reg Hack to come up with a snappier acronym please?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huh?

      Voyager Unifying Latent Temperature Using Radio Exemption ®

  19. W Donelson

    Awesome! TOTALLY Awesome!

    I remember many days, walking into Bldg 10 at M.I.T. many years ago, and seeing the images of Jupiter become clearer and clearer over the days, seeing the Red Spot become a cyclone, the banding become raging storms; MAGIC. What a journey!

    Did I say Awesome?

  20. Tom 7 Silver badge

    One light second a week.

    <silently>whoosh</silently>

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Earthlings declared war earlier today when an unusual projectile obliterated the children's gravimetric observatory in the station's East Wing. The stealthy object was travelling at several kilometers per second in normal space, we deduce therefore that it must possess a terrifying ability to open wormholes in a previously unknown, undetectable manner. (The ridiculous alternative theory that it traveled the entire distance in normal space is an even greater threat, as the ability to traverse many light years and still precisely hit a Station is an unthinkable horror) The War Amarda will be on its way as soon as the equations of relative scale are complete.

    1. IT veteran

      Presumably they will arrive at Earth and be eaten by a small dog?

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Small dog

        We should build up a rapid reaction force of small dogs in readiness. They can be trained to eat anything that looks like a space ship. To be on the safe side, we should include some large dogs too, in case our calculations of scale are inaccurate.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Small dog

          Wait, what? Reaction force sounds like you're trying to Run Away by jettisoning all the small dogs in the opposite direction...

  22. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    @ Pointless golden record

    Just my view on things...

    Chances of intelligent life finding it in the next 10,000 years? 100%

    Already knowing we exist? 100%

    Keeping us at arms length because they have better things to do? 100%

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: @ Pointless golden record

      And the chance of this planet being run by chimps, gorillas and orangutans in 10,000 years?

      1. D@v3

        Re: Eddy

        Considering it already is (and the occasional Lizard), I would say the chance of continuing to do so is pretty high

  23. Johnny Canuck

    I think its amusing that its runs on Pu!

  24. Nexus1974

    Long time until aliens pick it up

    Given at current speed, Voyage 2 will not reach nearest star for around another 80,000 years.

    So no worries for most of mankind of it being picked up by aliens (if humanity still around then)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alien DRM problem

    The craft was pulled over for speeding, and when the aliens went to play the record to determine planet of origin, they couldn't play it because it was encoded with PlaysForSure(TM).

    That said, I think that's my new excuse for my boss - I have entered a "Command Moratorium Temperature Stabilization Period", so buzz off.

  26. x 7

    "it resulted in Dr. Sagan meeting his third wife......."

    Greedy bastard. Must be a Mormon, I can't believe he's an Arab

    Mind you I had enough problems keeping one wife happy, no chance I'd be able to teach and run three wives at the same time

  27. Winkypop Silver badge
    Happy

    Come in number 1 and number two

    Your time is up.

  28. HairyHaggisKeeper
    Alert

    What's the big thing about slaves?

    One day we'll wake up to find our new overlords setting up mining ships that hover effortlessly in the air. Manned by 5 foot nothing mechanics called "Cruisers" of course....

    We're doomed! Aye, doomed....

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