What's the Latest Development?
The scientists and entrepreneurs behind the Lone Signal project are inviting the public to send them text and photo messages that will be beamed into space -- specifically, to the Gliese 526 star system, about 18 light-years away -- beginning June 17. To achieve this attempt at communication, they have taken out a 30-year lease on the Jamesburg Earth Station, a radio dish located in central California. Interested parties can send one text message for free, and for a mere 99 cents, they can buy four credits, which can be used to buy additional text messages (at one credit each) or a photo message (three credits). They can also see how far their messages have traveled and learn more information on the Lone Signal Web site.
What's the Big Idea?
Radio and television waves have been traveling through space for decades, but Lone Signal's beams will be much stronger. The crowdsourced signal will be embedded in another continuous wave signal that provides basic data about Earth and its neighborhood using a code based on common mathematical "first principles." At a press conference this week, co-founder Pierre Fabre said, "Our scientific goals are to discover sentient beings outside of our solar system. But an important part of this project is to get people to...[think] about what they would say to a different civilization."
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