18 November 2008
KEO - a way to send a message to the future
"KEO is the name of a proposed space time capsule which will be launched in 2010 or 2011 carrying messages from the citizens of present Earth to humanity 50,000 years from now, when it will reenter Earth's atmosphere.
Every person is invited to write a message addressed to the future inhabitants... Messages can be posted via the project's website… The satellite has enough capacity to carry a four-page message from each of the more than six billion inhabitants of the planet. Once the satellite is launched, the messages (with personal names removed) will be made freely available on the web.
KEO will also carry a diamond that encases a drop of human blood chosen at random and samples of air, sea water and earth. The DNA of the human genome will be engraved on one of the faces. The satellite will also carry an astronomical clock that shows the current rotation rates of several pulsars; photographs of people of all cultures; and "the contemporary Library of Alexandria", an encyclopedic compendium of current human knowledge.
The messages and library will be encoded in glass-made radiation-resistant DVDs. Symbolic instructions in several formats will show the future finders how to build a DVD reader…
It will be launched [to] an altitude that will bring it back to Earth in 500 centuries, the same amount of time that has elapsed since early humans started to draw on cavern walls."
Credit for above text to Wiki, with more info at the link, including this caution: "The satellite has not been built and no contract has been tendered for its construction."
To leave your message, go to the KEO website and click the flag of your native language. I plan to leave a message, but to be honest when I contemplate an Earth 50,000 years from now, I keep having dystopian visions of a 2001 ape/monolith scenario, with hulking humanoids trying to fabricate a DVD reader from rubble...