Zee Media Bureau
Washington: To mark the launch of the first robotic probe to the Red planet, that took place 50 years ago, radio telescopes on Earth sends 90,000 messages to Mars on Friday.
Uwingu, a US space funding company, to mark the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Mariner 4 mission organized the extraterrestrial shout-out and also to raise funds for its other projects.
Uwingu’s initiative “Beam Me To Mars” has invited the interested participants to send digital radio-wave transmissions of their names, messages and pictures to Mars. The fees will range from $5 to $99.
The transmission began after 3 pm EST/2000 GMT on Friday. The messages took 15 minutes to reach Mars traveling at the speed of light. The entire transmission was repeated twice.
While there was no one on Mars to answer the call, project organizers say that was beside the point.
As a show of support for space exploration the copies of the messages will be delivered to Congress, to NASA headquarters in Washington, and the United Nations in New York.
Uwingu wrote on the project website that though no one is on Mars yet to receive the messages, here on Earth people will hear them loud and clear.
The initiative has attracted many celebrities including actor and comedian Seth Green and actor George Takei.
Uwingu is pronounced as “oo-wing-goo” which means “sky” in Swahili. It is a private company that raises money to fund space research and educational outreach projects.
Since Mariner 4’s successful flyby of Mars, returning the first pictures of the planet’s surface, more than 20 other spacecraft have successfully visited, orbited or landed on the planet’s surface.
(With Agency inputs)