Celebrating the 40th anniversaries of the Voyager launches

While Straight Dope has been talking a lot about the eclipses, also note that today Sunday, August 20 marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 2. Tuesday, September 5, will be the 40th anniversary for Voyager 1.

So does anyone personally remember when the launches happened? Did you watch it on TV? While these happened after I started school, nothing comes to mind.

I don’t specifically remember the launch, but Voyager holds a special place in my heart because among the pieces on the Golden Record is Puspawarna, a particularly beautiful Javanese gamelan composition that Carl Sagan apparently thought was one of the most beautiful pieces of music he’d ever heard.

As someone who plays the song Puspawarna in my gamelan group fairly often, I’m pleased that it is included, and that Carl Sagan was able to appreciate it even without (presumably) having developed an ear for Javanese music.

The lyrics to the singing part are also especially lovely - the word “Puspawarna” in Javanese translates literally to “various kinds of flowers,” and the lyrics compare different kinds of women to different kinds of flowers, suggesting that each of them are lovely in their own way.

Thank you, very much, for posting this. I don’t remember the launches. I want to say I remember hearing about it at the time, but I’m probably just remembering them being mentioned, on various science shows over the years, while sitting here, on this pale blue dot.

There is also a show on The Science Channel, “Voyager: The Untold Story”, Monday, August 21, 10:16 pm.