Messages beamed to the Red Planet
2014.12.10

YOU may have sent messages to friends infaraway countries via email or Facebook (臉書), but how about sending one to another planet – Mars (火星)?

On 28 November, radio telescopes on Earth beamed 90,000 messages from humans to the Red Planet to celebrate the anniversary of the first mission that sent back photos of the planet.

A US (美國) space company called Uwingu organised the ‘Beam Me to Mars’ project. People were invited to send digital radio-wave transmissions to Mars for a cost ranging from US$4.95 (HK$38.39) for just a name to US$99.95 for a long message and an image.

Fifty years ago, the Mariner 4 (水手4號) mission was launched on 28 November 1964. The probe sent back the first ever photos of Mars on 15 July 1965. It sent back 22 photos of Mars’ surface, the first of its kind, that shocked people because of how ‘dead’ Mars looked. Finally on 21 December 1967, scientists lost contact with it in solar orbit.