Four decades ago, the twin Voyager space probes lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, bound for the distant reaches of the solar system. They soon brought us intimate portraits of our cosmic neighbors—Jupiter, Saturn,Uranus, Neptune. But they were also conceived with another, even loftier goal in mind. Since the Voyagers would become the first human-made objects to leave our solar system altogether, entering the wilds of interstellar space, they were fitted with copies of the so-called Golden Record, a collection of music, sounds, and images from Earth. If there were extraterrestrials out there, nasawanted them to know about life on this planet.
Today is the fortieth anniversary of the first Voyager’s departure. To mark the occasion, the producer of the Golden Record, Timothy Ferris, has written an essay about how and why he and his colleagues chose what to put on it. That got us thinking: If a second Voyager mission were launching next week, what mementos of Earth would it contain? How would we represent our past, our present, and our hopes for the future? In short, what would a Golden Record look like in 2017?
Send in your suggestions using the form below, including links if you have them. (Responses are limited to a thousand characters.) You can also tweet your selections to us using the hashtag #GoldenRecord2017, or e-mail them to GoldenRecord2017@newyorker.com. Once we’ve gathered enough responses, we’ll share the results with you.