Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Watch the Skies in the Year 52,007 A.D.

The KEO project is a satellite time capsule, or perhaps a message in a bottle is a better analogy. It will return to Earth in 50,000 years, bearing all sorts of knowledge and messages. The exciting thing is that YOU can participate. Everyone on earth is invited to leave a message - completely uncensored. The only limitiation is that it must be 6000 characters or less.
"If the satellite survives its launch, its long stay in space, its re-entry, and its landing, AND if there are intelligent inhabitants of this planet who manage to find KEO and open its titanium shell, what they will find inside is a compact but information-rich time capsule. The innermost sphere will hold photographs representing all cultures of people; an artificial diamond which encases a drop of human blood along with tiny samples of sea water, air, and soil; and an astronomical clock based on the positions of nearby pulsars which can be used to determine when the satellite was launched.

Also inside will be something which will likely be strange to the visual organs of its discoverers: a set of specially-made glass DVDs, along with symbol-based instruction on how to build a DVD reader. Upon these DVDs will be encoded a contemporary 'Library of Alexandria'– an encyclopedic compendium of current human knowledge– and millions of personalized messages currently being collected from individuals all over the world."
This is really more of a symbolic, artys-fartsy project than anything else, and I don't think they'll be anyone here in 50,000 years - if so, they'll certainly not be anyone we'd recogonize as human. But if our decendents don't make it, maybe some other passers-by will find it.

To send your thoughts to the distant future, click here.

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