Far from the “me reading your tweets” meme featuring a picture of a jackal tearing open a fallen antelope, NASA is actually going to beam one lucky Twitter user’s concise creation into space, for all the universe to see.
The contest is in honor of the 4oth anniversary of Voyager 1, mankind’s farthest-flung spacecraft. According to a press release from NASA, messages must be limited to 60 characters and include the hashtag #MessageToVoyager, and may be posted to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ or Tumblr. The deadline is August 15. The submissions will then be judged by NASA, the Voyager team and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, though the public will vote on the final winner in an online poll.
The message will be beamed toward Voyager 1, which is not only the farthest spacecraft but the first to enter interstellar space, and the longest continuously operating space mission ever. Voyager 2 ain’t no slouch either, as it’s the only spacecraft to fly by Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Both can detect their own problems and take corrective action, which I find adorable.
The contest was inspired by the Golden Record, a phonographic record created by Carl Sagan and his team comprised of sounds and images chosen to represent Earth, including animal noises, greetings in 55 languages and music from around the world. I don’t know that there’s any tweet that can compete with the great Sagan’s aural interpretation of Earth, but I am willing to be open. I truly hope it’s not this one: