Have you submitted your name to be sent to Mars aboard the Mars Rover? No? There is still time because the rocket doesn’t leave Earth for another 2 years or so. And if you are interested you can take part in another attempt to get humans and aliens engaged into a real live conversation, well sort of.
An Australian website called www.HelloFromEarth.net is collecting messages from people that will be transmitted to Gliese 581d, a planet outside our Solar System which may support life. Messages are restricted to up to 160 characters (Twitter?) and moderated so you can’t flame, blame, taunt or otherwise instigate aliens to attack Earth. The service accepts your messages until 5pm Monday 24, August 2009, Sydney time (07:00 GMT Monday 24 August 2009). At the time of writing this, 9,197 messages has already been received.
After the final message has been collected, these will be sent to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and transmitted to Gliese 581d using the 70 meter antenna at Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex in Tidbinbilla.
The Antenna at Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
The message is expected to reach the planet around December 2029 give or take a few months! Hopefully, on 2051 we will receive a reply :)
According to the website, the signal will be strong enough for the message to be read by any intelligent life with the capacity to do so up to 100 light-years from Earth; its artificial nature should be detectable up to 10,000 light-years distant. Since Gliese is in the direction of the constellation Libra, near the galactic centre, the signal has a reasonable chance of reaching the solar systems of many other stars before it fades completely.
The messages are fun to read. The website also displays a list of Best Messages received so far. The current “best” reads:
If you come to earth look into: music, the beach, ice cream, hugs, family, love, dancing, cheese, trampolines, friendship, books and dreams. Just for a start.
Some are funny:
We've got some of your beings that we'd like to send back.
Have you seen Alf lately? I miss him :(
Send More Oil!
Apologies in advance for most of these messages. They are an example of our primitive humour.
... while some other matter-of-fact:
I wonder if you will be able to even understand our messages. Here's hoping you have an awesome English translator out there with you!
[via The Next Web]