Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    [Carl Sagan, association]. Jon Lomberg. Design and Production Archive for the Golden Record attached to both NASA Voyager Spacecraft. [No place: no publisher, 1977- Eternity]. Archive of individual items from Jon Lomberg, who was Design Director for NASA's Voyager Golden Record Project. Includes Lomberg's signed copy of the original sketch for the Golden Record cover diagram (which differs from the final in the rendering of the cartridge on the record; a large, original Lomberg drawing of the Record cover in space; production drawings from the 1977 Record's creation; documents, sketches, notes and 35mm slides from the Record's production; early Lomberg silk-screened prints that began the Sagan/Lomberg collaboration; a signed first edition copy of Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record with signatures by authors Carl Sagan and Jon Lomberg; a very rare extra-large boxed set of the Time Warner CD and book package Murmurs of Earth (still in shrinkwrap -- with a note from Lomberg that he will be happy to sign it if the winning bidder wishes to take it out of the shrinkwrap); two binders with copies of miscellaneous project papers; Diagrams, articles, letters and other mission related material; Most items signed by Lomberg. Artwork executed in acrylics, and sketches in ink or pencil, on board, acetate or paper. Sizes of photos and documents vary. Generally, items are near fine.

    Voyager II launched on August 20, 1977 from Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket; and Voyager I launched on September 5, 1977 also from Cape Canaveral, Florida and also aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket. Voyager I is now the only man-made object to have travelled outside of our Heliosphere, or Solar System.

    This is a large archive of material created and maintained by long-time Carl Sagan collaborator Jon Lomberg. Mr. Lomberg was instrumental in the design and implementation of the iconic Golden Record, carried in a round box along with a stylus to play it on the side of each Voyager spacecraft. Lomberg's drawing engraved on the outside of that box has an estimated lifetime of one billion years, perhaps the most nearly immortal of all human drawing. The message inside is carried by a phonograph record -- a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth using images and a variety of natural sounds. To this they added musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages. As the Record's Designer, Jon Lomberg had the chief responsibility of selecting and organizing a sequence of 120 photos and drawings meant to describe our planet to intelligent ETs. He also played a role in the election of music. All of this is documented in the materials of this archive.

    The Record remains Humanity's most complex message sent into space. The lifetime of the Record is estimated to be at least 1000 million years. The images on the Record will exist long after the continents have changed and mankind is long extinct. The engraving on the cover, drawn by JL, may be the longest lived human artifact of all time.

    The Golden Record has passed into popular culture and has been the subject of many articles, films and media broadcast all around the world, from Saturday Night Live to Star Trek: the Motion Picture, from My Weekly Reader, to the Encyclopedia Britannica, from astronomy textbooks to the X-Files. A Google search on Voyager Record yields almost 700,000 results, which gives some idea of how pervasively this project has become a iconic artifact of our age.

    More Information:

    Jon Lomberg and Carl Sagan began their collaborative relationship in 1972. For Sagan, Lomberg produced design work on several books, including The Cosmic Connection (1972), Broca's Brain (1979), Cosmos (1980), Contact(1985), Comet (1986) as well as the 1980 Cosmos PBS series and the animation for the film CONTACT . He also contributed to the Voyager Golden Record and designed the logo for the Planetary Society. His many awards include Graphic Design Magazine DESI Award for "Nuclear Winter" artwork for Parade Magazine (1983), the American Association for the Advancement of Science Best Children's Science book (1996), and, the asteroid 6446 1990QL was officially renamed to "Asteroid Lomberg" by the International Astronomical Union in 1998. He was Design Director for NASA's legendary Voyager Golden Record, and has sent artwork to Mars aboard NASA's Phoenix, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity spacecraft. Lomberg has more art off Earth and out in the Universe than any other artist living or dead. Lomberg work is now on the official tour of the Library of Congress, along with Jefferson and Galileo! [work from CONTACT, COMET,and other projects will be offered in forthcoming Heritage Auctions]

    From Jon Lomberg: "In 1977 NASA launched two Voyager spacecraft, destined to unveil the planets of the outer solar system to human eyes. Flying onward, each Voyager would escape the Sun's gravity and continue on toward the stars. But not to any particular star-in fact nothing may happen to the spacecraft, which will survive in space virtually forever.

    "A phonograph record which contains sounds and images of Earth, carefully selected and sequenced to provide a detailed picture of life on Earth, especially human life.

    "Just a few months before the Voyager launches, Carl Sagan invited me to help design this Record. I worked with SETI pioneer Frank Drake on the image sequence and the Record's cover. We worked with his skilled staff at the Department of Space Science at Cornell on the creation of a sequence of 120 images, attempting to describe Earth, to be submitted for NASA approval in six weeks. Six weeks to make something that would endure for a billion years.

    "Over the next two decades I followed the mission, both as Chief Artist on Sagan's COSMOS TV series, and as a science reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio in Toronto.."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2017
    14th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,797

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $250,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $250,000 and $2,500,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,500,000 per lot.

    Sold on Sep 14, 2017 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 44 days left to consign to the 2021 November 12 - 13 Space Exploration Signature Auction!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The resulting auction of my property overwhelmed me. I want to thank Tom Slater and the Heritage team for a very satisfactory experience and profitable result with my historical consignment.
    Henry L.,
    Lexington, KY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search