'Beam Me to Mars' sends 90,000 messages into space
Washington: In a tribute to NASA's first successful mission to Mars 50 years ago, the space funding corporation Uwingu sent nearly 90,000 personal messages by radio into space.
The Mariner 4 mission was successfully launched on Nov 28, 1964.
It flew past Mars July 15, 1965, sending back the first images ever taken beyond the Earth-Moon system.
As part of the "Beam Me to Mars" project, participants were charged $4.95 to send just their names and $99 for an image and long message.
The entire set of messages were repeated as a tribute to Mariner 4. Images sent from that pioneering space vehicle were sent twice, to correct for missing or corrupted data.
The set contained logos from more than 25 space organisations and corporations as well as messages from various celebrities.
While no one will be able to read the messages sent to the Red Planet, the project symbolises the public's unwavering support for space exploration.
"We want to make an impression on leaders. The more messages, the bigger impression it makes. If this thing goes viral, then it will make a huge impression," Alan Stern, CEO of Uwingu and former NASA science chief was quoted as saying.
The money generated by the "Beam Me to Mars" project will be used to fund space education, exploration and science, Tech Times reported.