When the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft launched in 1977, they every carried a Golden Document, a particular venture spearheaded by astrophysicist Carl Sagan, along with the scientific devices vital for his or her mission to discover the outer reaches of our photo voltaic system. Half time capsule, half symbolic ambassador of goodwill, the Golden Document contains sounds, photographs, music, and greetings in 59 languages, offering a snapshot of life on Earth for the edification of any clever aliens the spacecraft may encounter.
At this time, whereas Voyager 1 and a pair of hurtle on by interstellar house greater than 14 billion and 12 billion miles away, respectively, the Golden Document and the long-lasting etching on its cowl has impressed a brand new student-run initiative, the Humanity United with MIT Art and Nanotechnology in Space (HUMANS) venture, which goals to ship a message that hits just a little nearer to residence: that house is for everybody.
“We need to invite the world to submit a message to our venture web site — both textual content or audio, or each! — sharing what house means to them and to humanity of their native languages,” says venture co-founder Maya Nasr, a graduate scholar within the Division of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “Our objective is to make use of artwork and nanotechnology to create an emblem of unity that promotes international illustration in house and brings consciousness to the necessity for expanded entry to the house sector worldwide.”
Nasr and her fellow HUMANS venture co-founder Lihui Lydia Zhang ’21, a graduate of MIT’s Expertise Coverage Program, are amassing submissions this summer season into the autumn semester by way of a submission portal on their web site, humans.mit.edu. Taking inspiration from One.MIT, a venture to etch greater than 270,000 names from the MIT group on a 6-inch wafer, they’ve partnered with MIT.nano to etch each textual content and audio waveforms onto a 6-inch disk.
Lastly, in collaboration with the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) on the MIT Media Lab, this new “document of our voices” will journey to the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) on a future mission.
For each Nasr and Zhang, the philosophy “house for all” is private. The 2 bonded over their shared expertise as worldwide college students whose personal ardour for house introduced them to MIT: Nasr grew up in Lebanon, whereas Zhang grew up in China. Of their journeys within the house sector, they’ve each confronted fixed challenges and struggles that restricted them from absolutely contributing their studying and fervour.
These challenges generated a shared frustration, however extra importantly, a imaginative and prescient that house ought to be extra accessible and consultant for extra folks world wide. As classmates in 16.891 (Area Coverage Seminar) with Professor Dava Newman, they got here throughout an open name for proposals for growing suborbital and ISS payloads from the SEI. Nasr and Zhang put their heads collectively to create their proposal for the HUMANS venture.
“The Worldwide Area Station is among the few avenues that represents worldwide cooperation in house, however there are nonetheless so many international locations world wide that are not included in that illustration,” says Zhang. “The HUMANS venture will not clear up this drawback, however we hope will probably be a small step ahead to assist us advocate for increasing international entry to house.”
Along with Nasr and Zhang, HUMANS venture collaborators embody college advisor Jeffrey Hoffman, professor of the apply in aeronautics and astronautics; advisor Ariel Ekblaw, director of SEI; web site developer and rising senior Claire Cheng; Xin Lu and Sean Auffinger from SEI; Professor Craig Carter from the Division of Supplies Science and Engineering (DMSE); and Georgios Varnavides, a graduate scholar in DMSE.
To take part within the HUMANS venture, go to humans.mit.edu to submit a textual content and/or audio message. Messages should comply with venture pointers to be included on the ultimate disk that will likely be despatched into house.