The Farthest: Voyager in Space

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
The Farthest: Voyager in Space Movie Poster Image
Fascinating docu on the history and discoveries of Voyager.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 96 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The advances and benefits of math and science are put on full display when the scientists involved with the Voyager space program discuss goals, approach, and scientific discovery as the two Voyager spacecraft made startling new discoveries about the outer planets of our solar system. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The curiosity and insight of the scientists behind the Voyager space program reveal the vast possibilities inherent in students pursuing their interests in math and science. 

Violence
Sex
Language

"Hell." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Brief shot of a photograph of a scientist smoking in the 1970s. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Farthest: Voyager in Space is a 2017 documentary about the Voyager space program on the occasion of its 40th anniversary. For those old enough to remember Voyager 1 and 2 and the stunning photographs they sent back to Earth of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, this is a fascinating revisit to that point in time, told from the perspective of the scientists who were there. For those too young to remember it but fascinated by space exploration, this documentary shows humankind's very first efforts to see into the furthest reaches of the universe. The rewards of developing one's talents in math and science are shown in full display, both in the stories of the scientists who were there and in what they discovered from the two Voyagers. One use of "hell" is heard. A fantastic documentary for the entire family. 

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What's the story?

THE FARTHEST: VOYAGER IN SPACE revisits the development, launch, and discoveries of the two Voyager spacecraft on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of their launch. The development of the program, the launch, the early and later breathtaking photographs of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune (as well as their moons), and the legendary "Voyager gold record" in which Carl Sagan attempted to convey a sense of what the human race is like for any alien race that might discover the Voyagers are all chronicled and told from the perspective of the scientists who took part. Overall, it's the story of humankind's very first effort to explore the outer reaches of the solar system and beyond. 

Is it any good?

This is an incredible documentary of humankind's first attempts to explore the outer solar system and beyond. Told from the perspectives of the scientists who developed and oversaw the program, The Farthest: Voyager in Space includes the incredible photographs the Voyagers sent back to Earth and the profound discoveries the scientists made. The wonder these scientists express has clearly not abated 40 years later.

The late Carl Sagan is given deep tribute, both for his development of the "Voyager gold record" of human sounds and for the music placed inside both Voyagers; he's also lauded for having the philosophical vision to have Voyager 1 turn around before being out of range of Earth to take a "goodbye" picture. Sagan used this image and pointed out the tiny pixel that he informed everyone was Earth, a "pale blue dot," where "everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives." It's the perfect metaphor for what so many of the scientists seem to be aware of: that their efforts were tremendous for humanity, but merely the earliest of earliest beginnings in the grand scheme of things. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about documentaries. How does The Farthest: Voyager in Space compare to other documentaries you've seen? 

  • If you were faced with the challenge of coming up with your own "Voyager gold record," what sounds would you include on it to give any alien life forms who might discover this record a sense of Earth and the humans who live on it? 

  • How might this documentary inspire kids interested in math and science to apply their interests in a career? 

Movie details

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For kids who love outer space

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