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updated: 9/13/2013 12:02 AM

Poll Vault: Are we alone in the universe?

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  • The Voyager 1 spacecraft has been barreling through space for more than three decades.

      The Voyager 1 spacecraft has been barreling through space for more than three decades.
    NASA artist rendering


Are we alone?

That's the essential question now that NASA's Voyager 1 has reached interstellar space.

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Launched in 1977, the spacecraft is equipped with television cameras, infrared and ultraviolet sensors, magnetometers, plasma detectors, and cosmic-ray and charged-particle sensors, according to a NASA fact sheet. It transmits data via radio waves.

If Voyager does encounter other intelligent life, our new friends can learn more about us via the "Golden Record" that's onboard.

The phonographic disk, according to NASA, contains 115 images, a variety of natural sounds, musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earthlings in 55 languages.

Do you think there's anyone out there to hear our record? In the vastness of space, are there other humanoid species? If so, will we meet them in your lifetime?

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