Time to put your thinking caps on, because NASA is looking for messages to beam into space! Well, they specifically want “short, uplifting” social media messages, but we figure there might be some wiggle room (who goes on Twitter looking for happy nice things?). All you have to do is compose a message of no more than 60 characters (A-Z, 0-9, spaces and punctuation), hashtag it #MessageToVoyager, and post it to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ or Tumblr. Yes, Google+ still exists. Apparently.
If you get your submission up by 11:59 p.m. PDT on Aug. 15, 2017, then it will be in the running. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA and the Voyager team will weed through the eggplant emojis and select their top picks, and then the public will be able vote for the winner starting August 23rd.
On September 5th, the winning message will be beamed out across space toward the Voyager 1.
The contest is in celebration of the Voyager mission’s 40 years of exploring space — in fact, September 5th is the 40th anniversary of Voyager 1’s launch. The concept is inspired by the famous Golden Record carried by Voyager 1 & 2, time capsules communicating the story of our world to extraterrestrials. Of course, the message on board the Voyagers is a 12-inch gold plated copper disk, full of diverse sounds and images selected by a committee chaired by Carl fucking Sagan. The new message of goodwill being beamed out for the 40th anniversary will in all likelihood be composed by someone sitting on a toilet, waiting for their lives to regenerate in Two Dots. Or at least that’ll be the case if I win.
In all seriousness, the Voyager mission is extraordinary, and this contest is a great reminder that humanity is capable of great things. Like, actually great. Reaching out across space and expanding our understanding of the cosmos great, not that “Make America Great Again” nonsense. Voyager is the longest continuously operating space mission ever. The Voyager 1 is the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space, and is the most distant human-made object ever. Meanwhile the Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to fly by Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Also, they both are capable of detecting their own problems and taking corrective action. So it’s a good thing they are way the fuck out in space and not here where they can lead the robot uprising.
Anyway, the competition is already heating up thanks to some solid early entries.
You travelled 139 AU and all you got was this lousy tweet #MessageToVoyager— Stefano Stocca (@stoc911) August 2, 2017
Voyager is a better spacecraft than Spacey McSpaceface. #MessageToVoyager— Zach Covey (@ZachKFOX_CBS) August 3, 2017
So what would you like to see NASA beam out into space?
“Take us with you”
“If aliens are real, we’ll have to build a space wall and make space pay for it”
Let’s see if we can win this for Pajibans everywhere!