Taiwanese featured in NASA photo sent into space 43 years ago

From left: Su Wen-ho of Taiwan, Motsapi Moorosi of Lesotho, Valeriy Borzov of USSR, and Edwin Roberts of Trinidad compete in the first round of the 200m race in the 1972 Munich Olympics. (Photo courtesy of CNN)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — In 1977, NASA launched the “Voyager” Mission to explore the outer solar system and chart the skies above four outer planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune — and the unknowns of interstellar space beyond them.

At the time, two golden discs, featuring 120 photos were included in the probe to introduce “humanity” to extraterrestrial life forms. To the surprise of many, Taiwanese athlete Su Wen-ho (蘇文和) was an unsuspecting feature in this glorious feat alongside many great athletes of his time. 

The photo showed Su participating in the 200m event at the 1972 Munich Olympics with the Taiwanese flag featured front and center on his shirt, along with Motsapi Moorosi of Lesotho, Valeriy Borzov of USSR and Edwin Roberts of Trinidad.

Screengrab from CNN

According to CNN, the photo was chosen by Jon Lomberg, a leading space artist who was mainly responsible for curating images that were included in the historic journey. 

In line with the idea that “This is a message from planet Earth,” Lomberg believed that the Olympics was a great representation and felt the picture conveyed a lively image of how fast humans could move.

“This wonderful photo had representations of different ethnicities — that added a sense of a global nature to it,” Lomberg added.

As the Voyager continues to explore the universe, foreign media recently revealed to the athletes or family members of the subjects featured in the photos, their unwitting contribution to the project of a lifetime.

Upon receiving this surprising news from foreign media, Su revealed that he had never seen the image of himself in that game, and though he was familiar with the Voyager project, he “couldn’t believe he had anything to do with it.”

Though many have doubts of whether there is another life form out there, Su is not worried.

“I do believe there are aliens,” he said. “There are so many planets, hundreds of thousands of them out there. Wouldn’t there be any life forms in one of them?”