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What is the Golden iPod? It's a modern version of Voyager's Golden Record. Launched in the 1970s, the Voyager spacecraft are now at the edge of the solar system, on the doorstep of interstellar space itself. Each probe has a gold-coated copper phonograph record bolted to its side. These records are messages to any alien race that might run across the Voyagers in their travels. They contain photographs of Earth; a selection of the world's greatest music; greetings in 55 human languages and one whale language; the brain waves of a young woman in love; and salutations from the Secretary General of the United Nations.

The Golden Records are brilliantly composed. Just one problem: They are so 70s! Modern pop culture is almost completely absent from their golden grooves.

A group of high school students in Bishop, California, has decided to rectify the situation.

"We've got something even better than a Golden Record--a Golden iPod," says junior Amelia Koske-Phillips.

The Golden iPod has 16 GB of storage, far more than the original phonographs, with plenty of room for images, video, and music. "We plan to fill our iPod with the best humanity has to offer--old and new," says team member Anna Herbst. "Then, if all goes as planned, we're going to send it to space."

16 GB is a lot of memory, and we need help filliing it. Students around the world are invited to submit their ideas. What would you like aliens to learn about Earth before First Contact? Should we send them Beethoven ... or Lady GaGa? Original art, music, and performance are also welcomed.

The Golden iPod will travel to Earth orbit onboard a CubeSat in 2013. Between now and then, we will also send the Golden iPod to the edge of space in a series of high-altitude balloon flights. Our first test flight was conducted on Sept. 5, 2012--the 35th anniversary of the launch of the Voyager 1 probe. Please check Earth to Sky's Facebook page for images and movies from the flight.

Earth to Sky on Facebook

Voyager Set to Enter Interstellar Space
Voyager, the Love Story
Voyager's Golden Record