Published : Friday, August 11, 2017 | 2:45 PM
NASA is inviting astronomy buffs to join a contest that would mark the JPL Voyager mission’s 40th year of space exploration.
Inspired by the messages of goodwill carried on Voyager’s Golden Record, the space agency is giving those interested the chance of having their positive messages possibly heard someday by extra-terrestrial beings through Voyager 1.
With input from the Voyager team and a public vote, one of these messages that will be sent to #MessageToVoyager will be selected by NASA to beam into interstellar space on Sept. 5, 2017 — the 40th anniversary of Voyager 1’s launch.
Messages can have a maximum of 60 characters (A-Z, 0-9, spaces and punctuation) and must be tagged #MessageToVoyager.
Messages should also be posted on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ or Tumblr with the privacy settings on the submitted posts set at public to be considered.
Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. PDT on Aug. 15, 2017. The top picks will then be selected by JPL, NASA and the Voyager team.
Out of the top picks, the public will then choose the winning message by poll on https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/voyager/message/.
After public selection, NASA will then beam the winning message through space toward Voyager 1 on September 5.
The Voyager mission is the longest continuously operating space mission ever. Voyager 1 is also the most distant human-made object ever and the first spacecraft to enter interstellar
Voyager 2 meanwhile is the only spacecraft to fly by Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 became the first spacecraft to detect their own problems and take corrective actions.
Voyager 1 is now nearly 13 billion miles from Earth and is hurtling through interstellar space northward out of the plane of the planets.
Voyager 1 is carrying the Golden Record, a 12-inch gold-plated disk created by Carl Sagan and his team which is comprised of sounds and images chosen to represent Earth, including animal noises, greetings in 55 languages and music from around the world.
The recordings could endure for billions of years, carrying a record of human civilization deep into the galaxy. The different locations of the two Voyagers allow scientists to compare right now two regions of space where the heliosphere interacts with the surrounding interstellar medium using instruments that measure charged particles, magnetic fields, low-frequency radio waves and solar wind plasma.