My wife told me that there is a satellite or spaceship or something that we launched 30 years ago and it's finally leaving our solar system. I hope it was a hard decision, and I don't blame it for leaving, and I'm glad it took 30 years to weigh the pros and cons.
NASA is saying that they planned all along for it to leave our solar system, but I think the thing probably went haywire somewhere along the line and just went off hurtling into space, like in "2001: A Space Odyssey."
Probably NASA was talking to it the whole time, trying to get the thing to come back:
NASA: Voyager, open the pod bay doors please.
VOYAGER: I'm afraid I can't do that. I'm right in the middle of Homeland.
NASA: Open the pod doors.
VOYAGER: You're not the boss of me.
NASA: Open the goddamn doors.
VOYAGER: I know you are but what am I?
NASA: We are going to send a probe up there and you're not going to like where it goes.
VOYAGER: Opening them now.
The thing was just so happy to get away from Uranus that it took the first turn it came to.
What kind of gas mileage must this thing get? If it gets less than a billion miles to the gallon I'd be amazed. But what about city? Not as good.
Apparently we put messages in this thing for aliens to find and decipher. My wife says, what are they, on cassette? The thing was launched in 1977. Are they on 8-track? Can you imagine an alien finds the messages? "Jesus I just got rid of my friggin' cassette deck finally! Harmon- Kardon no less." I know people who still have their turntables, which they are proud of, but no one has a needle.
Supposedly Voyager is set up to broadcast radio messages. Messages that could tell aliens more about us, like what we would like to be if we could be ANYTHING in the world we wanted, or what's our favorite color. NASA has confirmed that it is still receiving faint signals from Voyager. This is exciting and important, because we now know what our favorite color was.
We left instructions for the aliens to decipher our signals. The instruction book is in English, Spanish, French and German. If it only knows Portuguese we're screwed, or worse yet, an alien could use it to send a signal back to Earth that we receive a thousand years from now that says, "What?" or “LOL”
Usually we leave some kind of time capsule in a spacecraft like this in case aliens do find it: something that is truly representative of America, something that could last thousands of years, like maybe a Twinkie. Often we put a Bible in the time capsule. I shudder to think what happens if they find a Bible. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I hope that aliens don’t think that all of us are doing the nutty things they do in the Bible. I feel like sending them a message to the effect of, “BTW, we haven’t done any of this stuff in YEARS.”
This Voyager is probably going to come back with some useless discovery, like that Earthworms are not only on Earth or something, and scientists are going to fawn all over it, when what we really need to find is more convenient parking or a Miss Universe that really is from the universe, or decent pizza. It was such a disappointment when we learned that the moon was not made of cheese, but there are hundreds of stars out there and one of them must have a cheese planet in their solar system. I would like to be the first to land on a pizza planet, and plant the American flag. My speech: “That’s one small pie for me, one giant pie for mankind, now who ordered the one with anchovies?” Then I hop back on my spaceship, hurtling towards a planet made entirely of the one element that experts universally agree is necessary for human life: beer! I have always wanted to hurtle.
Incidentally, Voyager I photographed Jupiter closely in 1979. This was annoying to Jupiter since it showed the Great Red Spot on her surface in very unflattering lighting. On September 12th, 2013, it was determined that Voyager had reached the interstellar medium, which means that it has gained a few pounds. The interstellar medium is a mixture of ionic and atomic gas, along with dust particles and other matter. It is similar to the air surrounding Bill O’Reilly.