Today, earthlings will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first mission to Mars by NASA’s Mariner 4 that was launched on Nov. 28, 1964, by sending about 90,000 messages via radio telescopes to Mars.
US space funding company Uwingu, which has organized the extraterrestrial shout-out to mark the 50th anniversary of NASA’s first robotic Mars mission, hopes to raise funds for its other projects.
Titled “Beam Me To Mars”, the initiative has asked participants to send digital radio-wave transmissions of their names, messages and pictures to Mars for fees ranging from $5 to $99. It has received 88,798 total names and messages so far to beamed to Mars.
The fundraising was quite successful with 90,000 chipped in, including some celebrities like Seth Green and actor George Takei, who portrayed Mr. Sulu on the television series “Star Trek.”
The radio transmission of messages to Mars will begin today, Friday Nov. 28 at 3 p.m. EST/2000 GMT/01:30IST on Friday. The messages will travel at the speed of light and take 15 minutes to reach Mars. The entire transmission will be repeated twice.
Copies of the messages will be delivered to Congress, to NASA headquarters in Washington, and the United Nations in New York as a show of support for human space exploration.
“Though no one is on Mars yet to receive the messages, here on Earth people will hear them loud and clear,” Uwingu wrote on its website.
Here are some messages from known celebrities or professionals:
Here is a sample message from actress Mary Miranda:
“Mars, one day I hope to visit your planet. The red dirt is a bit too country for me, maybe Blake Shelton would like it, but that’s okay, your mystery holds enough romance for me to visit. Elon Musk, our current day Tony Stark says that we will have a million people on your planet in the next century. I hope that I am one of those people! Buzz Aldrin has been saying “Get Your AS**to Mars” for years, even before he was training for his Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. Astronomy is one of my passions. We need to learn more about the universe we live in. Uwingu, Thank you for putting together this campaign to provide grants for space research, education, and exploration so that OUR generation can get to Mars and beyond! This is a special message to NASA, Congress, and the United Nations — as AMERICANs, we want to lead humankind’s adventures off our planet and take our technologies to deep space and other planets!
—Mary Miranda, Season 4 of The Voice – Team Shakira”
“Hey Mars: In 1992, I was part of a team that sent a spacecraft called Mars Observer to study you. You killed it. Three days out from orbit insertion and poof, it was gone. We never heard from it again. I took it very hard. Then, a little over a decade later, I was part of a team that sent two rovers called Spirit and Opportunity to study you. These (if they landed successfully) were designed to last for 90 sols. In contrast to what happened with Mars Observer, this time you smiled on us. Both rovers landed successfully, Spirit lasted six years, and Opportunity is still going after more than ten years. I appreciate it. So I guess now you and I can call it even.
—Dr. Steve Squyres, planetary scientist and NASA Mars rover PI”
“Admirers, first time callers. We’re really looking forward to getting to know you better. We can’t wait to eventually enjoy one of your many Starbucks and float in the lazy river at Atlantis Mars. Be patient, we’re coming. And we’ve got a sweet music mix for #SpringBreakOnMars. Much love.
—Seth Green & Clare Grant, actors, directors, husband & wife”