NASA's genius plan to make first contact with aliens

Matt Lillywhite

It launched two unique spacecraft in the 1970s...
Photo byPexels

In 1977, NASA launched two spacecraft on a quest to the outer reaches of the galaxy: the Voyager probes. Both of them have traveled farther from Earth than any other man-made object. And they’re also involved in NASA’s genius plan to make first contact with an extraterrestrial civilization.

In this article, we’ll discuss how the Voyager probes will make first contact with aliens. We’ll also look at how NASA is preparing to announce the existence of life elsewhere in the universe. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

The Voyager Spacecraft Carry Human Artifacts That Will Explain Earth To Aliens

According to NASA, the spacecraft contain an identical message (referred to as the Voyager Record) that will “communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials.” 

“The Voyager message is carried by a phonograph record,” per NASA. “It’s a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth.”

The photographs on the Voyager Record are encoded as audio signals. They include a woman licking ice cream and a man drinking water. There are also photos of the Great Barrier Reef, Taj Mahal, and other important locations around the world. 

The hope is that someday, in the distant future, an alien civilization will stumble upon the spacecraft and visit Earth. The Voyager Record also includes a message to aliens from President Jimmy Carter:

“We cast this message into the cosmos. It is likely to survive a billion years into our future, when our civilization is profoundly altered, and the surface of the Earth may be vastly changed. Of the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, some — perhaps many — may have inhabited planets and spacefaring civilizations. This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time, so we may live into yours. We hope someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination, and our goodwill in a vast and awesome universe.”

Here’s How NASA Will Announce The Existence Of Aliens

The public confirmation of extraterrestrial life is expected to take a long time. “Science is a process of asking questions, coming up with hypotheses, developing new methods to look for clues, and ruling out all alternative explanations,” per NASA. “Any individual detection may not be completely explained by a biological process. It must be confirmed through follow-up measurements and independent investigations.”

NASA is currently developing a scale to contextualize the significance of scientific findings related to extraterrestrial life. According to the government agency, the bottom of the scale will be level 1. That might include hints of a signature of life, such as a biologically relevant molecule. 

To reach the top of the scale, NASA scientists would run experiments to confirm the presence of alien life. For example, that might include high-resolution images of a planet with colors suggestive of forests or algae. 

To make progress toward finding alien planets, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will soon set its sights on the TRAPPIST-1 system. According to NASA, “It consists of seven rocky planets, distributed across the system’s habitable zone, or the area around a star where it is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface of surrounding planets. Webb will characterize the atmospheres of these planets and help scientists learn more about planetary formation and habitability.”

“With each measurement, we learn more about both biological and nonbiological planetary processes,” said Mary Voytek, head of NASA’s astrobiology program. “The search for life beyond Earth requires broad participation from the scientific community and many kinds of observations and experiments. Together, we can be stronger in our efforts to look for hints that we are not alone.”

What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts. And if you think more people should read this article, share it on social media.

Authors Note: It's not a conspiracy theory to claim NASA is trying to make first contact with aliens via the Voyager probes. All information found in this article can be verified on the website of NASA and other government agencies.

Comments / 62

Published by

Matt Lillywhite publishes national news and local stories. He can be reached via email at


More from Matt Lillywhite

Comments / 0