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HANS' SPACE ODYSSEYS

The idea that all Humans can say "Hello" to the cosmos, has its origins back in the 70's, when the late pace scientist Carl Sagan convinced NASA to launch pair of golden records on an epic journey across the Solar System and beyond, stored aboard the Voyager space probes. The Voyager records contained music, pictures and greetings from the Earth - including a greeting from US president Jimmy Carter - just in case someone would find them in the distant future. A similar idea for was born when another scientist - Frank Drake - used the huge Arecibo antenna to transmit the first message from a radio telescope to any extra-terresterials who may lurk out there in interstellar space.

Somewhat later, NASA, The Planetary Society and other scientific organizations got the idea that they could invite the public to "come along" their space missions, inspiring people to grow a personal interest and engagement in space exploration. Lately, space agencies in other countries has followed suit. And entrepreneurs sometimes offer citizens paid space for messages & objects onboard planned privat spacecrafts - though not everyone has been successful. So in a way, these ventures has served as low-budget precursors to the space tourism industry, and a lot safer too!

Hans Starlife is one of the earliest and most well-travelled space explorers of our time - through his name that is. He has sent his name to dozens of worlds throughout the Solar System. On the red planet Mars - his favorite destination - he has made landfall many times onboard various landers and rovers. But already decades ago he embarked on a journey to Saturn onboard the Cassini space probe, carrying a CD with hand-written signatures. It's still there. And don't forget the Horizons space probe which soon will fly by Pluto, then following the Voyagers toward interstellar space. Using Australia's largest antenna, he has also had his name transmitted to exoplanet Gliese 581d.

Today, needless to say, he has also joined NASA's "Journey to Mars" program highlighting their new "Orion" spaceship. This program is based on the civilian air travels of Earth, where passengers get a "Boarding Pass" and can earn "Frequent Flyer" points allowing them to send their names on future launches. How many worlds have your name been too?



"Boarding Card" for NASA's Orion test mission

   
 

 

 

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