Technology NASA sends new message to space

NASA sends new message to space

Mathilde Fontez, editor-in-chief ofEpsiloon, explains to us today that this is not the first time that we send messages in space, intended for ET, our descendants, or even no one. A brief review of these cosmic sea bottles …

franceinfo: Today, you are telling us about the Lucy probe, from NASA, which has just taken off. She takes a message on board …

Mathilde Fontez: Yes, this little probe just took off this morning from Cape Canaveral in the United States. She leaves to explore the asteroids which are in the orbit of Jupiter, to confirm the scenario of evolution of the solar system. And yes. She embeds a message. A small plaque, on which are engraved inscriptions.

And what does this message say?

These are quotes, from artists, from thinkers. Einstein talks about the importance of curiosity. Martin Luther King of History. And there is also the Beatles, of course – since it is in reference to the song that the probe is called Lucy. These are fairly classic messages. Because in fact, this is not the first time that humans, and in particular NASA, the US Space Agency, have sent messages into space …

Do we have a lot of them?

About thirty in all. But they are not all the same type. In the style of Lucy’s, there are the two messages deposited on the Moon. The first was thrown to the ground by Neil Armstrong, during the Apollo 11 mission, just before returning to Earth. It is a small silicon disc that contains statements of peace from leaders. There is also one on the ISS. And even one in the space car – the red convertible that Elon Musk sent to space in 2018, remember? These messages are rather intended for our descendants. They will stay close to Earth.

But have others been sent much further?

The first 4 probes which left to explore the outer planets of the solar system, the Pioneer and Voyager probes, each took one on board in the 1970s: they contain images, music. Sounds of the Earth. Greetings in 55 languages. Chemical formulas… And they are intended… for extraterrestrials. Yes Yes !

And finally, there are about twenty messages – immaterial, those – which were sent by radio telescopes, in the direction of distant stars …

This image illustrates the journey of the Lucy probe which flies into space this Saturday, October 16 with messages from our humanity on board. & Nbsp;  (SOUTHWEST RESEARCH INSTITUTE)

Do these messages have any chance of finding a recipient?

Impossible to say, since it is not known if there is an intelligent life somewhere to pick up these bottles in the cosmic sea. But the trajectories of the probes have been calculated. Voyager and Pioneer are now out of the solar system. They spin at over 50,000 km / h. But the space is huge! And empty! They should not cross stars – and therefore planets, and therefore potentially life – for tens of thousands of years.

Ultimately, it is the messages sent by radio telescopes that have the best chance of being picked up, if ET exists. Because they travel at the speed of light.

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