NASA ponders sending out a digital message to Extraterrestrials
A crowdfunding project is bidding to commandeer Nasa’s Pluto probe and send if off into deep space to meet extraterrestrials with a message from the people Earth.
The plan is to upload 150MB of data, contributed by the backers of the One Earth Message campaign, to the tune of around 100 images and about an hour of audio recordings to the New Horizons craft whose current mission is to explore the surface of the dwarf planet and its moon Charon which lie at the furthest reaches of our solar system.
The project needs to reach its $500,000 goal of funding to make it fly along with NASA’s green light for the digital transfer of the message.
Suggestions for what’s included in the transmission are of a map of the world complete with photos linked and tagged to specific locations.
“It’s not simply a photo contest,” the project’s leader, Jon Lomberg, told Space.com. “It’s a process that’s going to find out what people want to send.”
New Horizons is set to make the first-ever fly-by of Pluto on July 14. After its primary mission is complete, it will eventually head out into the Kuiper Belt – an asteroid belt-like region beyond our solar system – after which it’s hoped by Lomberg and his supporters that it may one day be found by an alien species possibly millions of years from now.
“We’ll never know if this extraterrestrial audience that we’re designing it for will receive it. But we do know that the people of Earth who participate, who play a role in it – it can literally change their lives.”
The crowdfunding campaign is live on Fiat Physica just 3 per cent of the way towards its target but still 52 days left to draw in the pledges. You can support the project from as little as $5 but it’s a minimum of $50 to get your name written in the stars.