The Challenge | Remix The Golden Record

Develop a concept for a time capsule with content to educate an extraterrestrial civilization about human culture and our solar system.

Terra Stele

Terra Stele, A two-part Solution to Interstellar Communication



The Voyager Golden Record

The Voyager Golden Record, which is the main topic of this challenge, refers to the two phonograph records that were sent to the vast universe in 1977, placed inside the Voyager 1 and 2. The two golden records contain various sounds and images which had been chosen to portray the looks and features of the Earth. These records are intended to function as a time capsule for any kind of intelligent extraterrestrial life form that might find these records in the future, and make them aware of humanity's existence.

The content of these records had been selected carefully for NASA, and they were made up of 115 different images that could portray the Earth in the most effective way, variety of natural sounds, musical selections from different cultures and eras and verbal greetings from people in 55 different languages. In terms of images, they also included images showing mathematical and scientific principles regarding our solar system, DNA informations of some organisms, and human anatomy.


The Modernized Golden Record

It's 2018 now, so almost 40 years have passed since the launch of the Voyager 1 and 2. There had been drastic , yet significant advancements in most of the existing fields of study, especially fields that are related to technology.

After reviewing the contents that were included in the 1977's golden record, we could easily notice that the idea of sending a golden record into the space is quite outdated, and the contents were also from the past. This made us to think that in order to provide the correct representation of mankind, we need to renew the information of the golden record in some way. Since the original golden record had some information stored in it in form of sound waves, we decided to include a transmitter that transmits specific electromagnetic waves which will give us information when decrypted, and several images that describes the Earth most effectively.

So basically, our goal is to recreate a digitalized version of the Voyager Golden Record.

main features

Artificial Language: Terra Stele

As we stated above, we decided to digitalize the Voyager Golden Record by transmitting electromagnetic waves. To make the transmission process more effective and to make sure that extraterrestrial life form can understand the decrypted signal, we have designed our own artificial language based on Lincos(artificial language).

Our language, which is named "Terra Stele", is based on the numeral system(having 9 as base) and inductive reasoning. The key to understanding this language is focusing on the examples that are given for each mathematical/scientific principles. Hopefully the intelligent extraterrestrial life forms that will discover our transmitter and images will understand our messages by studying the examples that we have included, and understand mankind better.

Terra Stele consists of 9 characters which are discriminable from each other. By combining those characters in different orders accordingly to the syntax, we are able to create statements which corresponds to the statements that we use normally. There are 3 characters that perform the role of syntax(punctuations), 4 characters that can be used as functions and sets, and 2 characters that are used as variables.

The following are some examples about the usage of Terra Stele :


‘abcd’ will introduce about function like ‘+’, ‘-’, etc. Our language system will be tetramal system.

‘xy’ represent random number that make a generalization.

Basically, our number will be represent as binary system.



1. extra: means “and so on” ex) 0,1,10,11,100,101,110,extra

2. equal: means “=” ex) x equal y (x and y can be exact value or set)

3. add: means “+” ex) x add y

4. minus: means “-” ex) x minus y

5. negative: means “-number” ex) negative x

6. multiply: means “x” ex) x multiply y

7. compare: means “<” ex) x compare y

8. bool: means “logic” ex) bool(x)

9. true: means “answer of bool(x), when assumption is corresponding with conclusion”

10. false: means “answer of bool(x), when assumption is not corresponding with conclusion”

11. not: means “~ sth” ex) not x

12. include: means “∈” ex) x include y

13. or: means “||” ex) x or y

14. and: means “&&” ex) x and y

15. exist: means “∃” ex) exist x

16. all: means “∀” ex) all x

17. len: means “number of the set” ex) len x

18. emptyset: means “∅”

19. union: means “∪” ex) x union y

20. intersection: means “∩” ex) x intersection y

21. divide: means “÷” ex) x divide y

22. pi: means “π”

23. in_rel: means “the set that include to other thing” ex) x in_rel y

24. natural: means “ℕ, the set of natural numner”

25. integer: means “ℤ, the set of integer”

26. rational: means “ℚ, the set of rational number”

27. real: means “ℝ, the set of real number”

Webpage (Github is experiencing service issues, if site loads a placeholder page, please visit as a replacement)



  • Freudenthal, H. (1960). LINCOS-Design of a Language for Cosmic Intercourse. Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company.

softwares/artificial languages used

  • Microsoft Powerpoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Apple Pages
  • Text Editor
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Community
  • Xcode
  • Adobe After Effects
  • C++
  • HTML
  • Python

SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.