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It's a Very Tough Little Spaceship and It Knows What It's Doing

Wednesday, October 01, 2014 - 05:38 PM

It's no secret that we're a little obsessed with the Voyager mission. We've done two stories about it now: one in our Space episode, and another in our Escape episode. When you listen to those stories, though, you might notice an unfortunate lack of intensely adorable children.

Good news: our friends in Canada have you covered. A little while back, The Current did an episode featuring astronaut Chris Hadfield (who wormed his way into our hearts by making the best David Bowie cover ever). CBC listeners sent in questions for Commander Hadfield. One listener, Lilia Yumagulova, wrote:

"Hello Commander Hadfield, for the past year and a half my 5-year-old son goes to bed worried, sometimes in tears. He is worried about the Voyager Interstellar spacecraft, the fact that it is out there all by itself. He wants it to come home to be safe. What do we tell him?"

Then this happened:

 If that doesn't melt your ice-cold heart, nothing will. 

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield.



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Comments [7]

David from Jakarta

He wants it to come home to be safe. What do we tell him?"

Then this happened:

There was a problem processing your request.
Error: Player PID "R50vmsUfABn6" is disabled.

Oct. 15 2017 08:15 PM
t from Lehi, UT

@Sok Puppette
I'm not normally a fan of anthropomorphizing objects either, but when I noticed that the boy was only 5 years old, had anthropomorphized Voyager already, and had been crying because he was worried about the machine, I think Chris made a good choice.

In hindsight I didn't have a problem with my parents lying to me about Santa Clause either, because the joy it brought me as a child far outweighed any later disappointment. And for all we know, his parents anthropomorphized the spacecraft. The outcome would have potentially been more damaging if he said: "Hey, you don't have to worry, Voyager isn't alive. And then he responded on the air, "But mommy told me..." I don't think airing that conflict on the air would have been that great either. He thought quickly on his feet and I think he handled it very well considering the audience.

Children lead rich fantasy lives, and it's pretty normal to do this. I'm not going to keep my kids from watching Pixar movies, even though "Cars" also exist in the real world.

Nov. 03 2014 07:28 PM

This is beautiful.

Oct. 28 2014 01:35 AM
John from Sydney

Those cogs on the "Sign Up" graphic on the right hand side of this web page could never work. The teeth are all different pitches and even if they weren't you can't mesh three cogs together as they all turn in opposite directions.

Oct. 03 2014 07:33 PM
Leigh from Oz

A true son of Carl Sagan that Chris Hadfield.

Oct. 03 2014 02:33 AM
Sok Puppette

Sorry, but anthromorphizing machines leaves my heart as cold as the depths of intergalactic space (about 3K). And it doesn't appear to have worked, either.

Oct. 02 2014 07:07 PM
dov from Ozlandia

There's a little golden book in this...

'The Probe that just Kept Going'

Oct. 02 2014 05:51 PM

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