SETI Transmission Planned for Monday
Published: 1999 May 23
11:31 am ET (1531 UT)
A Texas company plans to make the first
deliberate transmission of signals to another
world in twenty five years on Monday, May 24.
Houston-based Encounter 2001, in cooperation with the Russian
aerospace company Energia, will make a transmission designed
both by scientists and paying customers to several stars from
a Ukrainian radio observatory.
The transmissions from the 70-meter antenna at the Evpatoriya
Radio Astronomy in the Ukraine will consist of two parts.
The first part, designed by a team of scientists, will consist
of a message describing Earth and humans.
The second part will include the names and messages from
members of the public, who paid $14.95 for the ability to
include a 30-word message with the transmission.
The transmission will be the first deliberate, high-powered transmission to
another star since a brief message was
transmitted by the Arecibo radio observatory in Puerto Rico
during its inaugural ceremonies in 1974.
"That 1974 message was limited to only a few scientists,"
said Charles M. Chafer, president of Encounter 2001.
"This mission is another of humanity's early efforts to
accomplish perhaps its greatest social, technological,
and spiritual imperative: First Contact."
The transmission, to an unspecified set of four stars the
company describes as likely to have life-supporting planets,
is the first of three such transmissions planned by the
company. Two more similar transmissions are planned for
February 2000 and 2001.
Encounter 2001 is also promoting a spacecraft that will
carry photos, messages, and even DNA samples from customers,
at a price of $49.95 each. The company recently awarded
AeroAstro a contract to build the spacecraft, scheduled
for launch in late 2001 as a secondary payload on an Ariane 5.
Other News (Encounter 201 spacecraft plans)