Frank Drake’s Cosmic Road Map

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Are we alone in the universe? It’s a question we’ve been asking for millennia. Now we’re on the cusp of learning the answer. Frank Drake—one of the most vocal (and brilliant) askers—has spent the past six decades inspiring others to join him in this quest. Now, a new generation of scientists is carrying his work forward. They’re finally being taken seriously, and they’re about to change the way we think about our place in the cosmos.

For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard.

Want more?

Space isn’t the only place to explore when scientists are looking for alien life; it’s also important to go underground—here on Earth. Find out why on another episode of Overheard.

Breakthrough Listen is reaching beyond our galaxy to determine whether or not there is life in space. The project is audacious—and worth following closely.

Frank Drake and Carl Sagan had a legendary friendship and professional relationship. One of their many projects was to create another kind of cosmic road map meant to show aliens how to find us.

Also explore:

In 1977, NASA sent a set of Golden Records to space attached to two Voyager spacecraft. Carl Sagan, Frank Drake, and a team of inspired scientists decided what they should contain. Here’s the music that’s flying outside of our solar system right now.

Thanks to another kind of map, it’s possible to see just how far those radio signals have traveled since leaving our planet over a hundred years ago. So far, they’ve traveled about 200 light-years—and no one has heard them yet.

If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.

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