A European group is planning to send a satellite into space and will somehow manage to get it to land on Earth 50,000 years from now.  That's cool enough, but even cooler is that they're asking the people of the world to write messages to store on their little "time capsule."  So if you want something you created to travel into outer space and then to land in some dude's living room 50,000 years from now, have I've got a deal for you!

The group is known as KEO, and they're being supported by UNESCO, which is part of the United Nations.  Their plan is to document everything they can about the human race here in 2013 and then shoot it into outer space.  Somehow (it's not particularly spelled out on their website), they feel they've got a pretty good chance of getting the time capsule to land back on Earth 50,000 years from now.

We'll probably look like this in 50,000 years. (Flickr / JD Hancock)
We'll probably look like this in 50,000 years. (Flickr / JD Hancock)

The cool part for all of us is that they're allowing the public to include their own message to be saved on the capsule.  You can write up to four pages (6,000 characters) uncensored, and have your message added with everyone else's on a DVD. How do we know people will be able to use DVDs in the future? They're going to include pictographs detailing how to build a DVD player.  Well, of course they will, right?

Okay, so yeah, this sounds weird and a little sketchy.  When you go to the site, one of the graphics explains that the time capsule will be launched in 2006.  Oops.  The project, which is funded only with donations, has seen a number of delays.  The new plan is to launch in 2014.  But, you know, take that with a grain of salt.

Hey, Alien, you've got mail. (Flickr / Jay Adan)
Hey, Alien, you've got mail. (Flickr / Jay Adan)

Also, do you think they can really get a time capsule to go dancing through space for 50,000 years and land right back on Earth?  Seems suspect to me, like shooting a bullet into the sky and getting it to land on a bee.  But returning to Earth isn't really a big deal, if you ask me.  Even if the capsule never makes it back home, I think it's pretty cool that there will be some part of me floating around the universe and outliving me.  Since the time capsule is supposed to be shielded from radiation, and all the parts of it are supposed to be made of very durable materials like titanium, there is the remote chance that the capsule will miss the Earth entirely ... and land on an alien planet.

Now, that's cookin' with gas, bucko. I'm down with that.  What up, E.T.?

What else is going to be on this capsule?

  • A diamond with the entire DNA sequence of a human being engraved on it.  In the center of the diamond?  A drop of human blood.
  • The titanium casing of the capsule will actually be a globe of the Earth, which will hopefully intrigue whoever finds it.  If it lands on Earth, that is.
  • A complete knowledge database of everything humanity knows so far.  Not sure how they're going to pull this off, but I'm guessing Wikipedia could fit on a couple DVDs?
  • Portraits and pictures of humanity here in 2013.  Maybe Grumpy Cat?

Here's the FAQ on the KEO project, in case you're feeling skeptical.  It does seem like a pipe dream, but I think I'll write a message.  I really like the idea of my thoughts speeding through space.  Plus, I have a really good recipe for sugar-free root beer float pie, in case people in the future haven't cured diabetes.

You're welcome, future.

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