There’s something oddly incomprehensible about a machine made by human hands travelling beyond the solar system. Oh, I do realise it’s logical enough when regarded pragmatically, but it provokes a reaction in me that goes beyond pragmatic regard. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know.
It also provokes a fascinating question: will it keep going for ever? It’s reasonable to suppose that one day – trillions of years from now – it will get to the other side of the universe. But what is beyond the universe? Nothing, say the experts; no energy, no matter, no time even. So can something exist where this is no existence? What does that do to the concept of ‘for ever?’
And there’s another question: would I like to be aboard Voyager, travelling through the unknown reality of deepest space with enough air and sustenance to last my natural lifetime? How can I know what a natural lifetime would be in that situation? We’re told that travelling at speed in space does funny things to time. I’ve never been a fan of science fiction, but I expect such a scenario has been covered once or twice. Maybe I should have paid more attention to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Writing this is sending me into all sorts of wild areas. I think the best thing to do is just not think.