In the Radiolab podcast Space episode (2004) Ann Druyan mentioned that the contents of the Voyager Golden Record will last for 1 billion years before the contents of the Record becomes unreadable. This raises some questions:
- How will the Golden Record outlast everything mankind has created? What are the special features of the Record to reduce its deterioration? How did the billion year lifespan come up?
- I have read that the Record is electropated with U-238 for alien civilizations to date the age of the Record. However U-238 is radioactive with a half-life of 4.4ish billion years. Does this radioactive decay of the U-238 reduce the potential lifespan on the Record?
- What actually causes the Record to decay into unreadability in the near vacuum and emptiness of space?
(note: I have read the answer to this question but it doesn't exactly address my question. I do take that it is related though :) )