Press Release

Documentary chronicles the decades-long travels of Voyagers 1 and 2

By SpaceRef Editor
January 13, 2003
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Twenty-five years ago, two
spacecraft were launched from planet Earth on an epic voyage. Their purpose
was twofold: to explore for the first time the scientific wonders of the
outer solar system, and to communicate humanity’s presence to the cosmos.

A new, two-hour television documentary detailing the travels of Voyagers 1
and 2 and the scientific, cultural, and historical significance of this
pioneering mission, will premier on the A&E Network January 16, with an
encore showing January 25. (Check local listings for show times.) “Cosmic
Journey: The Voyager Interstellar Mission and Message” tells a tale of
adventure, exploration, and romance from the point of view of the
individuals who made it happen.

Dr. Carolyn Porco, an Institute Scientist in the Space Studies Department at
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder and Adjunct Professor at both
the University of Colorado and the University of Arizona in Tucson, served
as science advisor for the special and is one of its main storytellers. As a
member of the Voyager Imaging Team, Porco participated in the spacecraft
encounters with Saturn in 1980 and 1981, Uranus in 1986, and Neptune in
1989, and in the taking of Voyager’s “pale blue dot” image of Earth from
beyond the orbit of Neptune. She presently serves as the team leader for the
imaging science experiment on the Cassini mission to Saturn.

“Voyager was a mission of mythic proportions, with all the elements of
Homeric legend,” she says. “It was a long, adventurous journey punctuated by
episodes of great discovery and conquest, unique in its legacy of scientific
findings, and, because of its message to the cosmos, deeply imbued with
human meaning and significance.”

Affixed to each Voyager spacecraft is a golden phonograph record containing
a message from Earth for any space-faring extraterrestrial civilization that
might one day find them. The show introduces us to the people who crafted
the message and tells of their overwhelming task to choose, on a breakneck
deadline, the music, pictures, and sounds that would represent life on Earth
for billions of years.

As the two spacecraft, now the most distant human-made artifacts, exit the
solar system, they continue their groundbreaking journey where the sun’s
influence ends and interstellar space begins.

“Voyager changed and defined all of us who touched it,” says
Porco. “I will forever feel privileged to have been a part of it.”

“Cosmic Journey: The Voyager Interstellar Mission and Message” is a
production of Cosmos Studios and Norman Star Media.

For more information about the Voyager missions, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.