Forty years on from the launch of NASA's Voyager 1 probe, an unintended mistake by NASA, may have made easier for aliens to attack and conquer the Earth. Aboard Voyager 1 is a golden disc containing sounds and images that represent the diversity of life on Earth.
The disc also contains a map showing our planet's location - which NASA felt would allow extra-terrestrials to understand where the probe came from.
The maps were designed by American astronomer Frank Drake with NASA, said: "We needed to put something on the Voyager that said where it came from, and how long it was travelling.”
Though critics have questioned NASA’s decision to send the maps in the outer space, Dr Drake said that at the time of the launch of the probes people were optimistic and didn’t debate over the “pros and cons of contact with extraterrestrial intelligence”. Dr Drake, however, said that the chances of the map reaching aliens are “very small”. He still believes that the Voyager may forever sail silently in the interstellar space.
Kathryn Denning, an anthropologist from York University who studies the ethics of sending messages to extraterrestrials, said: “Back when Drake did the pulsar map, and Carl Sagan and the whole team did the Voyager record, there hadn't been very much debate over the pros and cons of contact with extraterrestrial intelligence.
“Now, however, as you know, there is a major debate among scientists and a variety of stakeholders about the wisdom of doing anything other than listening.”
Physicist Stephen Hawking has repeatedly warned of the dangers of making contact with intelligent aliens. "If aliens visit us, the outcome could be much like when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans," Professor Hawking told El País.
Meanwhile, scientists are developing a deep space habitat for NASA that would keep astronauts safe during long-duration missions by providing critical communications, life support and autonomous navigation, PTI reported on July 27. It said that US-based aerospace company Lockheed Martin is prototyping the deep space habitat for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center.