I've just sent my face in the space. Well, I submitted my picture to be sent there with NASA's STS-133 mission in September. In the space shuttle. A real one.
Now I'm wondering what will happen when aliens get my picture. And pictures of thousands other freaks that thought it's a good idea to do so.
For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about (that counts as approximately 100% of the readership) NASA is offering a nice and pointless opportunity for all of us that somehow missed to become astronauts to show up in space anyway. All you need to do is to go to the site of Face in Space program, upload a pic and name and choose a mission that will send you into orbit. Well, your face. And you'll get a certificate that you've been there when the shuttle comes back.
photo by Matthew Simantov
Though these are not deep space missions – they are just going to pop to the International Space Station – I can't stop thinking about the aliens. Like when we sent that golden record plates by Voyagers.
Records contain some nice images of Earth, Solar system, humans and other species, some scientific formulas, sounds and music and schemes how to play the sounds from the record. Of course, all that makes sense on presumption that aliens can see and hear the frequencies we see and hear. And yes, that some aliens (or maybe humans of the distant future – are they supposed to be called aliens too?) will get the record. But, no matter how slim the chances are, it's a nice thing to do.
Let's say that some space creatures find the plate. And that they are intelligent enough to recognize it as a message from other intelligent beings. And that they don't just put it in some shrine to worship it, but to actually attempt to understand what the hell it is. What a nice riddle we gave them! Have in mind that it took us quite a lot to decypher hieroglyphs. And those are just a few thousand of years old and originate from the same specie. And they are pictures, not a sound record. Yup, aliens will be entertained for a quite a while.
There is whole new story that follows this one. One about what will happen in a couple of thousands years from now, when an alien explorer find all those photographs?