THE FARTHEST Film Contributors
Co-Investigator Plasma Science
Fran Bagenal is a professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder and a researcher in the fields of space plasmas and planetary magnetospheres. She has participated in many of NASA's planetary exploration missions, including Galileo, Deep Space 1 and the Voyager mission to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. On the Voyager mission, Bagenal worked on the science team for the MIT Voyager plasma instrument. Bagenal is currently co-investigator on the New Horizons missions to Pluto, as well as the chair of the magnetospheres working group for the Juno mission to Jupiter. Bagenal also currently chairs NASA's Outer Planet Assessment Group, which provides input from the scientific community on exploration of the outer solar system.
Author "The Interstellar Age"
Jim Bell is a planetary scientist, educator, author, public speaker and president of the board of the Planetary Society. He works at Arizona State University and is heavily involved in NASA solar system exploration missions such as those of the Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. In 2011, he received the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication from the American Astronomical Society. He is an avid writer for space-related magazines and blogs. His popular science and space photography books include Postcards From Mars (Dutton, 2006), Mars 3-D (Sterling, 2008), Moon 3-D (Sterling, 2009), The Space Book (Sterling, 2013) and, most recently, The Interstellar Age (Dutton, 2015). Bell is a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU and is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University.
Voyager Project Manager
John Casani's work can be found at the farthest reaches of our solar system. He began his career at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in the mid-1950s, working on the lab's Jupiter and Sergeant rocket programs. He went on to become an engineer on the early Pioneer moon missions and led the design team for both the Ranger and Mariner spacecraft. Casani held senior project positions on many of the Mariner missions to Mars and Venus, and in 1970 became project manager of Mariner 6 and Mariner 7. Later, Casani became project manager of NASA's Voyager mission to the outer planets, Galileo mission to Jupiter, and the Cassini mission to Saturn. Casani has been honored with several NASA awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal (NASA's highest award), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space System Award, the von Karman Lectureship, and the American Astronomical Society's Space Flight Award. In 2009, he was recognized by the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Today, he provides mission engineering expertise around the globe on new and innovative aerospace projects.
Voyager Project Manager
Suzanne Dodd is JPL's director of the Interplanetary Network Directorate. She has more than 30 years of experience in spacecraft operations, serving as project manager on the Voyager Interstellar Mission, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array. Dodd worked at Caltech for 11 years as manager of the Spitzer Space Telescope Science Center and as manager of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, NASA's multi-mission center of expertise for long-wavelength astrophysics. She has also worked in the area of mission planning and uplink on the Cassini mission to Saturn, the Mars Observer Project and Voyager 2's flybys of Uranus and Neptune. Dodd earned a bachelor's degree in engineering and applied science from Caltech, a bachelor's in math/physics from Whitman College and a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. She is the recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Public Service Medal, NASA Silver Achievement Medal and NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal.
Golden Record Technical Director & Pictures of Earth Director
Frank Drake, an American astronomer and astrophysicist, is a pioneer in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, notably by mounting the first observational attempts at detecting extraterrestrial communications with Project Ozma in 1960. Professor Drake also developed the Drake equation, a probabilistic argument used to estimate the number of active and communicative civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. He also created the Arecibo Message, a digital encoding of an astronomical and biological description of the Earth that was beamed into the cosmos from South America. In 1972, he and Carl Sagan co-designed the Pioneer plaque, which was the first "physical" message sent into space and which was fixed to the side of the Pioneer 10 & 11 spacecraft. On Voyager's Golden Record, he acted as both technical director and director of images, leading the technical production of the record as well as the content of the encoded images. Currently he serves as Emeritus Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he also served as Dean of Natural Sciences (1984–88). He serves on the SETI Institute's Board of Trustees.
Golden Record Producer
Timothy Ferris is the best-selling author of a dozen books – among them The Science of Liberty, The Whole Shebang, and Coming of Age in the Milky Way — and more than 200 articles and essays. His three PBS documentary films — The Creation of the Universe (1986), Life Beyond Earth (1999), and Seeing in the Dark (2007) — have been seen by more than 20 million viewers. After starting his career as a newspaper reporter, Ferris became an editor at Rolling Stone magazine. He produced Voyager's Golden Record, an artifact of human civilization containing music, sounds of Earth and encoded photographs, which was fastened to the side of the twin Voyager spacecraft to serve as an introduction to Earth's culture for any being that encountered the spacecraft. He recently published an article in the August 2017 issue of National Geographic entitled Fantastic Voyage, which looked at the beginnings of the twin Voyager space probes and their significance in space exploration. Ferris has served as a consultant to NASA on long-term space exploration policy, and was among the journalists selected as candidates to fly aboard the Space Shuttle in 1986. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Guggenheim Fellow, and has twice received the American Institute of Physics prize. His works have been nominated for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Ferris has taught in five disciplines — astronomy, English, history, journalism and philosophy — at four universities. He is currently an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
Principal Investigator, Plasma Wave Science
Don Gurnett's career has spanned more than half a century, from a low-energy particle detector he helped develop on a rocket launched in March 1960 to his collaboration on NASA's Juno mission, which reached Jupiter on July 4, 2016. He has been part of 41 space missions, nearly two-thirds of the 67 spacecraft projects in which the University of Iowa has been involved, and he still considers the plasma wave instrument aboard the twin Voyager spacecraft his crowning achievement. In 2012, it was Gurnett's instrument on board the craft that provided the concrete evidence that the Voyager 1 spacecraft had indeed crossed the heliopause — the plasma boundary of the solar system — and was traveling in interstellar plasma, becoming the first human-made object ever to leave our solar system.
Heidi Hammel is a planetary astronomer who has extensively studied Neptune and Uranus. She is executive vice president of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy and the 2002 recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for planetary science communication. On the Voyager mission, she was a member of the Imaging Science Team for the encounter with the planet Neptune. In fact, her prior research on Neptune informed much of the science objectives of that encounter. In 1994, she led the team that investigated Jupiter's visible wavelength response to the impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 using the Hubble Space Telescope while simultaneously acting as NASA's public face, explaining the complex unfolding science to television audiences worldwide.
Imaging Science Representative
Dr. Candy Hansen-Koharcheck began work at JPL in 1977, joining the Voyager Imaging Team as an experiment representative. Her task was to design the camera image acquisition sequences for every satellite flyby that occurred during Voyagers' encounters with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. She went on to become the liaison between the scientists and mission engineers for anything to do with Voyager's cameras — and was central to the execution of the "Pale Blue Dot" photograph, a series of images of our solar system seen from Voyager 1's unique vantage point 3.8 billion miles away. In addition to subsequent roles on Cassini, Mars Polar Lander, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and currently on Juno, Dr. Hansen works as a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, where she studies climate and seasonal processes on Mars, Triton and Pluto. In 2009, she was awarded the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for her research into the plumes on Enceladus.
Andrew Perry Ingersoll, a professor of planetary sciences at the California Institute of Technology, has been a leader in the investigation of planetary weather and climate for nearly five decades. His research has included studies of the so-called runaway greenhouse effect that is thought to have boiled away Venus' oceans, the presence of liquid water on Mars, the supersonic winds on Jupiter's moon Io, and the atmospheric dynamics of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. He has been a key player on the instrument teams for many NASA/JPL missions, including Pioneer Venus, Pioneer Saturn, Mars Global Surveyor, Galileo, Cassini and, crucially, Voyager.
Mission Design and Navigation
Charley Kohlhase is one of the most accomplished and revered figures in robotic spaceflight and solar system exploration. He worked for 40 years at JPL, leading the mission design and management of many of their greatest successes, from the early days of Ranger and Mariner missions through Viking, the Voyager "Grand Tour" and Cassini. After "retiring" in 1998, he continued to advise JPL until 2014, serving as a technical consultant for the Cassini, Mars Sample Return and other future Mars missions, Genesis, Kepler and the planned Jupiter Europa Orbiter. Kohlhase is a specialist in navigation trajectories, mission design and management. He serves on the advisory council of the Planetary Society and is an accomplished writer, speaker, digital artist, photographer and committed environmentalist.
Theoretical Physicist & Cosmologist
Lawrence Krauss is an American theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is also Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University and director of its Origins Project. He is known as an advocate of the public understanding of science, of public policy based on sound empirical data, and of scientific skepticism and science education. He works to reduce the influence of what he considers superstitious and religious dogma in popular culture. Krauss is the author of several best-selling books, including The Physics of Star Trek (1995) and A Universe From Nothing (2012); and chairs the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Board of Sponsors.
Stamatios "Tom" Krimigis
Principal Investigator Particle Science
Stamatios "Tom" Krimigis is a Greek-American scientist and recognized as an innovative leader in space program development. He has led or participated in space physics experiments deployed to all eight major planets and to Pluto, the only scientist in the world to do so. He has also made valuable discoveries in the physics of the solar wind and the magnetospheres of the solar system. In 1999, the International Astronomical Union named the asteroid 8323 Krimigis (previously 1979 UH) in his honor.
Professor Krimigis is currently Head Emeritus of the Space Department Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, and holds the Chair of Science of Space at the Academy of Athens, Greece. On the Voyager mission, Professor Krimigis designed, and is the current principal investigator of, the Low Energy Charged Particle instrument still operating aboard both Voyager spacecraft. In 2015, Professor Krimigis was awarded the National Air and Space Museum Lifetime Achievement trophy for his contribution to space science, and in 2016, the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal.
Sequence Team Chief
Dave Linick has worked for NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the past 35 years. He has had a variety of engineering and management roles, principally involving systems engineering, and has extensive experience with mission operations and ground system development. On the Voyager mission, Linick worked as Sequence Team Chief with overall responsibility for all sequences of commands sent to the twin spacecraft. Currently the program manager for NASA's Advanced Multimission Operations System (AMMOS), which provides multi-mission ground system tools and services to more than 30 NASA missions, he is also a founder of the International Committee on Technical Interchange for Space Mission Operations and Ground Data Systems (SpaceOps).
Project Engineer Mechanical Systems
Frank Locatell was a senior engineer at JPL from 1967-1991. From 1972-1977, he was responsible for design and development of the Voyager Propulsion Module configuration and structure, the spacecraft to launch vehicle adapter, and the spacecraft separation system. As Project Engineer, Mechanical Systems, for the year before launch, he was responsible for the flight readiness of all Voyager mechanical hardware. He received NASA's Exceptional Service Medal for his contributions to the Voyager spacecraft. He went on to be a consultant in spacecraft configuration, structure, and mechanical systems for numerous JPL projects. He is also an accomplished sculptor, specializing in granite monoliths.
Golden Record Designer
Jon Lomberg is an American space artist and science journalist and has been commissioned by many notable institutes, including the Smithsonian Institution in the 1990s for an artistic but scientifically accurate depiction of the Milky Way Galaxy. He was Carl Sagan's principal artistic collaborator for more than 20 years on several projects from 1972 through 1996. For the Voyager Golden Record, Lomberg acted as designer and was principally responsible for the gathering and curation of many of the images on the record. Post-Voyager, Lomberg co-designed the MarsDial aboard the Mars exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity and was the project director and editor-in-chief for the Visions of Mars CD-ROM and mini-DVD aboard the spacecraft Phoenix, which landed on Mars in May 2008. Currently living in Hawaii, Lomberg is a founding member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists and a member of the Planetary Society advisory council. In 1998, the International Astronomical Union officially named Asteroid Lomberg in recognition of his achievements in science communication.
Linda Morabito joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1973 as a temporary summer employee and then again in 1974 after securing her undergraduate degree in astronomy. Morabito worked as a senior engineer in the Outer Planet and Navigation Section until 1981. In 1979, she discovered that the Jupiter moon called Io was geologically alive, far more volcanically active than even Earth. For her work in space exploration and discovering the volcanic plume emanating from an active volcano on Io, she was awarded three NASA Group Achievement Awards, for Voyager Flight Operations, Navigation Team; for Voyager Mission Operations System Design, Ground Data Systems Development; and for Voyager Mission Design, Ephemeris Development. She also received NASA's Certificate of Appreciation. Her discovery is considered by some planetary scientists as the major discovery of JPL's planetary exploration program. Morabito is currently an associate professor of astronomy at Victor Valley College. She is also the author of Parallel Universes, A Memoir From the Edges of Space and Time.
Carolyn Porco is an American planetary scientist known for her work in the exploration of the outer solar system, beginning with her imaging work on the Voyager mission during the 1980s. She is currently the leader of the imaging team on the Cassini mission to Saturn. She and her team have been responsible for many discoveries on and around Saturn, including lakes of liquid hydrocarbons on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan, new phenomena within the rings of Saturn, and geysers erupting from a sub-surface global ocean within the small icy moon Enceladus, as well as many beautiful images of Saturn and its moons and rings over the last 13 years. Porco played instrumental roles in the taking of three iconic photographs of Earth from the outer solar system, including her participation in the planning and execution of the 1990 "Pale Blue Dot" image of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft, and the "Day the Earth Smiled" event, in which she invited the people of the world to participate in the July 19, 2013, imaging of Earth and Saturn from the Cassini spacecraft. Recently, she has been deeply involved in the study of Enceladus, which she believes is one of the most promising places in our solar system to search for extraterrestrial life. Porco has won a number of awards and honors for her contributions to science and the public sphere, including being named by the New Statesman as one of 'The 50 People Who Matter Today' in 2009. In 2010, she was awarded the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in the Communication of Science to the Public by the American Astronomical Society. In 2012, she was named one of the 25 most influential people in space by Time magazine.
Author and Screenwriter
Nick Sagan is an American novelist and screenwriter. Author of several science fiction novels, including Idlewild, Edenborn and Everfree, his screen credits include episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager. He is the son of astronomer Carl Sagan and artist and writer Linda Salzman, both of whom were active in the planning and execution of Voyager's Golden Record. Sagan's greeting, "Hello from the children of planet Earth," was recorded when he was six years old and included on the record. It became one of the most iconic and recognizable of the 55 greetings that went to the stars. Sagan attended the Mirman School as a child and received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He currently lives in Ithaca, New York, with his family.
Imaging Science Team Leader
Brad Smith had already worked on a number of missions before he became Imaging Science Team Leader on the Voyager mission at the age of 40 — one of the oldest members of the team at the time. Dr. Smith was one of the few people with the foresight to realize that the satellites of the planets would be just as interesting to investigate as the planets themselves. He also recognized that there needed to be a focus not just on astronomy but on atmospheres and geology, and made the decision to change the optics of the cameras planned for Voyager to long-range optics instead. He also famously insisted on hand-picking the members of his own team. Thanks to Dr. Smith's visionary approach to the imaging experiment, the photographs captured by Voyager at Jupiter and Saturn maximized all data available, and the images taken at Uranus and Neptune by Voyager are yet to be bettered.
Laurence A. Soderblom is a geophysicist with the United States Geological Survey, based in Flagstaff, Arizona. In addition to his role as lead geologist for all the Voyager planetary encounters, Dr. Soderblom has been involved in numerous JPL planetary missions, including Mariner 6, 7, and 9, Viking, Magellan, Galileo, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Pathfinder, Deep Space 1, Cassini, and the Mars exploration rovers. From 1978 to 1996, he twice served as chief of the Branch of Astrogeology of the United States Geological Survey and in 1983 he was a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at Caltech. Dr. Soderblom has been engaged in a broad collection of planetary research tasks, including theoretical modeling of planetary surface processes and ground-based and spacecraft instrument development. Currently, he is heavily involved in the Mars exploration rover and Cassini-Huygens missions.
Infrared Science Representative
Dr. Linda Spilker is a NASA research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. She is currently the project scientist for the Cassini mission, and since 1988 a co-investigator on the Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer team. On the Voyager mission, Dr. Spilker acted as the Infrared Experiment Representative, translating the wishes of the infrared science investigators into concrete engineering goals for the mission team. Since joining JPL in 1977, she has conducted independent research on the origin and evolution of planetary ring systems. She has also famously maximized the scientific return from the Cassini end-of-life mission by executing an endgame trajectory for the spacecraft, which will return never-previously-obtained data about the Saturnian atmosphere.
Radio Science Team
Tom Spilker studied astronomy at Florida University, but when the Apollo program wound down, he was shocked to see spacecraft engineers working at gas stations and went back to college to study geology and computer sciences. Later he saw Voyager's images beamed back from the Jupiter encounter and was inspired to change careers and follow his childhood love of space. As a grad student at Stanford, he worked on the Voyager radio science team, where he stayed from 1981 until after the Neptune encounter in 1989. As a member of the radio science experiment, Dr. Spilker was on the only team whose data came back in real time, creating additional pressure during the planetary encounters. He met his wife, Linda, while working on the Voyager mission. Although they never directly worked together, they shared a bond over their involvement in the mission and later married.
Golden Record Greeting
Janet Sternberg, PhD, is a media ecologist, multilingual linguist and author of the book Misbehavior in Cyber Places. Sternberg provides the Portuguese greeting on Voyager's Golden Record, saying "Paz e felicidade a todos" ("Peace and happiness to everyone"). She was a 23-year-old linguistics graduate student at Cornell when the languages department called her to say that a professor at the university — Carl Sagan — was looking for the best speakers of foreign languages for a project but didn't give any more detail than that. She showed up the next day and recorded her greeting, sending what she believes to be one of the universe’s first “proto-tweets” to the stars.
Voyager Chief Scientist
Ed Stone is an American space scientist, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, and former director of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). As project scientist for the Voyager spacecraft missions to the outer solar system since 1972, he is the longest-serving NASA project scientist on any space mission to date. Aside from his role on Voyager, Professor Stone has since been principal investigator on nine NASA spacecraft missions and co-investigator on five more. He served as JPL director from 1991 to 2001, during which time a number of new missions were launched, all while Voyager 1 and 2 soared beyond the planets and headed toward the boundary of the solar system. After stepping down as JPL director, Stone continued his leadership role with Voyager. He is currently active on several projects, including acting as vice-chair of the Thirty Meter Telescope Board of Directors. In recognition for his unparalleled contribution to space exploration, Stone was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal in 2013, and in 2014, the Howard Hughes Memorial Award.
Rich Terrile is an astronomer and the director of the Center for Evolutionary Computation and Automated Design at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He uses techniques based on biological evolution and development to advance the fields of robotics and computer intelligence. Dr. Terrile has also developed missions to Mars and to the outer solar system. As a Voyager scientist, he worked on the imaging team and discovered four moons around Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. He also took the first pictures of another solar system around the nearby star Beta Pictoris. His research interests include planetary rings, planetary geology, evolutionary computation and the development of medical instrumentation for tissue identification during neurosurgery.