Hello Mars, 90,000 times

Florida: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Mariner 4 mission back in 1964, Uwingu, a space funding corporation, beamed 90,000 messages, pictures and names to Mars on November 28.

While no one will be able to read messages sent to the Red Planet, the Beam Me to Mars project symbolises the public’s unwavering support for space exploration.

The project started on Friday in the United States and included logos from more than 25 space organisations and corporations who have supported the project, as well as messages from celebrities.

Through the Universal Space Network, Uwingu beamed the transmission at a rate of 1 million bits per second. Travelling at the speed of light, the messages arrived on Mars after just 15 minutes of being sent.

To gather messages for the project, Uwingu invited the public to send in their own for a fee. Every name beamed cost $4.95, while a long message with a picture cost $99. Submissions were gathered between August 19 and November 5. The money generated by the Beam Me to Mars project will be used to fund space education, exploration and science.

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