Illustration for article titled A 5-Year-Old Worries Voyager Will Get Lonely, Receives Best Answer Ever

This is, hands down, the sweetest thing you'll hear today. A five-year-old named Timor from British Columbia has been having trouble sleeping because he worries about the Voyager space probe. Won't it get lonely? What if it crashes? So the CBC arranged for him to get some reassurance.


You can hear the whole thing, in which astronaut Chris Hadfield talks to the worried kid, here. "What if something goes wrong and there's nothing to fix it? What if it gets lost?" are among the questions he asks.

Hadfield says the right question is, "Is Voyager a happy machine or a sad machine?" He grew up on a farm with tractors, and then became a pilot flying planes, and he wants the machines he works with to be happy. To Hadfield, machines are happy when they're being used, and Voyager is doing a job — it's out there exploring the universe, and it's never lonely because it can phone home to tell us what it's seen.


"It's the bravest satellite," Hadfield says. "It's very brave, and very lucky." And it's been going for a long time, and "it's a very tough little spaceship, and it knows what it's doing."

The whole thing is just five minutes long, and absolutely worth listening to. Hit the link and scroll down to "What if it runs into a planet?" [The Current, thanks Danny!]

Update: The ISEE-3 Citizen Science Interplanetary Mission is asking spacecraft to tweet "hello" to Timor.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter