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Eternal* fame on the red planet for free

Submitted by Jakob on 7 November, 2006 - 03:35.My Blog | Astronomy

In August 2007 NASA will launch the next Mars lander, called Phoenix. Its mission is to probe the soil in Mars's polar regions in an attempt to find the frozen water expected to exist there. Sent along with the Phoenix is a DVD designed to last for thousands of years. On the DVD, Mars SF literature and a list of names will be printed, including yours if you so choose!

The Planetary Society has been given charge of the project to select and compile the contents of the DVD. It will include several Mars classics in their raw text form, books such as War of the Worlds and the last book from one of my favorite science fiction series, Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.

The DVD will also include a list of names, the members of the Planetary Society as well as several Internet users. You can sign up to get your name on the DVD and ensure a place in the hall of fame and be known for eternity, or at least for as long as this DVD lasts. Submitting your name is free of charge (the link to the site can be found at the end of this blog entry). It's no regular polymer disc, it's designed to last way longer than the decade lifespan expected for most modern cheap optical storage media. From the site:

"This unique DVD is made of silica glass, and designed to last hundreds if not thousands of years into the future, when its true mission will commence. It carries nothing less than a message from our world to one centuries away, when humans will roam the Red Planet."

The submission form is open for anyone to use, and considering all the spam I get on this site through bots using open submission forms, I was wondering whether there along all those names will also be a bunch of personal names of a rarer sort, names like Free Viagra, Adult Site and Loan Consolidation. The dedication of spammers is admirable! I have bots using my feedback page to send me personal spam, it's very kind of them, I wake up every morning to be greeted by "freeflirts" and "nudegirls". It gives me yet another reason for wearing out my Delete or Backspace key (depending on which of my computers I use)!

In an ironic way, Mr Viagra and Mrs Consolidation wouldn't be totally out of place after all, a list of names including spambot submitted ones would only serve as excellent proof of our daily use and abuse of this thing called the Internet. It would be a historical record and probably a reason for much amusement when humans finally roam Mars.

Click here to go to the project page for the Mars Visions project where you can submit your name for the Phoenix DVD

* eternity or a few thousand years, whichever comes first

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