Can “New Horizons” Bring a Crowdsourced Message From Earth to Aliens? – Facts So Romantic

Now that New Horizons has completed its flyby of Pluto, the spacecraft is on a long journey to become the fifth manmade object to leave the solar system. It does so carrying some curious human artifacts: a Florida state quarter, an American flag, and one ounce of the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930. One thing New Horizons is not carrying, however, is a message from humanity to extraterrestrial life. Jon Lomberg thinks that’s a missed opportunity. As project director for the One Earth Message, he would like to change that.

Lomberg was Carl Sagan’s principal artistic collaborator for a quarter century. He’s also one of the world’s few experts on “deep-time messages”: missives intended for civilizations far removed in time and space. In 1977 he served alongside Sagan as design director for the Voyager Golden Record. Together with a multidisciplinary team, they created a phonograph record that is encoded with images, diagrams, natural sounds and human speech: a portrait of human life and our planet. The gold-plated records and instructions on how to interpret them were launched with space probes Voyager 1 and 2. (The instructions are not encoded, but carved into the surface…

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