In a collaboration aimed at preserving simulated alien communication, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) has joined forces with Filecoin, a decentralized data storage marketplace, to store a simulated extraterrestrial message transmitted from Mars.
The project, titled “A Sign in Space,” involved the performance of encoding and transmitting an extraterrestrial message to Earth, simulated using the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, which is currently in orbit around Mars.
A small step for blockchain
The purpose of this project was to engage communities interested in deciphering and understanding the message, fostering collaboration among diverse cultures and areas of expertise.
During a live broadcast by the SETI Institute, Daniela de Paulis, the visionary behind A Sign in Space, emphasized that the encoded message was intentionally left open to interpretation, inviting individuals to bring their own perspectives and insights.
“Imagine abstract art, as an artist, you make a painting, and you attribute the meaning to this painting, often not even a fixed meaning…if other people start interpreting something abstract, it may be even more diverse, and we might get different types of interpretations.”
Daniela de Paulis, creator of A Sign in Space.
The signal, transmitted by the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), currently in Mars’ orbit, was successfully detected by three radio astronomy observatories stationed around the world.
These observatories include the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) of the SETI Institute, the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) situated at the Green Bank Observatory (GBO), and the Medicina Radio Astronomical Station managed by the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF).
To guarantee the preservation and accessibility of the processed message, Filecoin has been utilized for secure storage, ensuring that the valuable information contained within the message remains intact and readily available for analysis and interpretation.
People now have the opportunity to interpret the message for themselves.
A giant leap for mankind
This isn’t the first time the Filecoin Foundation explored blockchain’s utility in space. In a statement released on Jan. 17 2023, Filecoin Foundation and Lockheed Martin announced that they were partnering to deploy the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) in space later in the year.
In the announcement, Marta Belcher highlighted that with IPFS, the need for data to continuously shuttle between Earth and space is eliminated, streamlining and expediting the data retrieval process.
Although many use cases are currently being explored, from international payments, to supply chain management and regulatory compliance, storing simulated alien messages from Mars is one that is rarely mentioned, despite showing the wide capability of the underlying blockchain technology.
crypto.news has reached out to the Filecoin Foundation for a response on blockchain’s unique position to preserve simulated alien communication and is currently awaiting their response.