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Civilized Life in the UniverseScientists on Intelligent Extraterrestrials$
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George Basalla

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195171815

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171815.001.0001

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Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan

Mars and Beyond

(p.107) CHAPTER SEVEN Carl Sagan
Civilized Life in the Universe

George Basalla

Oxford University Press

Carl Sagan advised NASA on the Viking mission that landed two spacecraft on Mars (1976). In 1970, he helped prepare interstellar messenger plaques attached to NASA’s Pioneer 10 and 11, the first spacecraft to travel to outer space. The small, metal plaques contained coded, visual information about the earth intended for intelligent extraterrestrial beings. By 1977, NASA was ready to send the Voyager spacecraft with more elaborate messages for intelligent aliens: numerous recordings of terrestrial sounds and images. Sagan was deeply involved in the Pioneer and Voyager missions, both signs that America’s space agency had a growing interest in the sometimes controversial search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).

Keywords:   NASA, Pioneer, interstellar messenger plaques, SETI, Viking, Voyager

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