You can send a message further into space than any message has ever gone before. NASA is offering the chance to send a message to its Voyager 1 craft that is approaching its 40 anniversary since it launched in 1977. The message will be carried on Voyager as it travels into the deepest parts of interstellar space.
To celebrate the anniversary, NASA is hosting a competition for the best message to send to the craft. The short message will accompany the Golden Record that Voyager 1 already carries.
Submitting a message for consideration is easy and you can submit as many as you want. All you need is an approved social media account and a way with words. The requirements stioulate that the message can be no more than 60 characters including letters, numbers, punctuation and spaces. The message needs to be tagged with #MessageToVoyager so that the NASA team can find them. You can post the messages on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram or Google+ as long as your account is public the message will be considered.
As long as NASA gets your submissions by Aug. 15 at 11:50 PDT they’ll be considered. The teams at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA and the Voyager team will pick their favorite messages and then that selection will be put up for a vote that will take place between Aug. 23 - 29. The public will then be able to vote for their favorite message here.
Once a message is chosen it will be beamed out to the area of interstellar space where Voyager 1 is traveling on Sept. 5. It should make it there by Sept. 6. That message will then be carriered on Voyager for the remainder of its travels. The craft already has a Golden Record on it that contains the sounds and images from Earth to give a wide representation of the planet and its people to any life form Voyager encounters. So far it hasn’t encountered any extraterrestrial life.
The Voyager spacecrafts were launched in 1977 just a few months apart. This year marks their 40 year anniversaries. Now they’re billions of miles away from Earth and getting further every second. The two are traveling through space collecting data and sending it back to the researchers on Earth.
To track exactly how far the winning message will travel you can track the Voyager craft online. While it’s old its still equipped with technology that can collect data on the charge of space particles, magnetic fields and radio waves that it encounters.
The Voyager craft itself Tweeted that its excited for the project and that it’s “Looking forward to your message!”