Alien communications may find a home on the blockchain
In a collaboration aimed at preserving simulated alien communications, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) has teamed up with Filecoin, a decentralized data storage marketplace, to store a simulated extraterrestrial message sent from Mars.
The project, entitled “A Sign in Space”, involved performing the encoding and transmission of an extraterrestrial message to Earth, simulated using the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, which is currently orbiting Mars.
A small step for blockchain
The purpose of this project was to engage local communities who are interested in deciphering and understanding the message, and to promote cooperation between different 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 coded message was intentionally left open to interpretation, inviting individuals to bring their own perspectives and insights.
“Imagine abstract art, as an artist you create a painting, and you give meaning to this painting, often not even a fixed meaning…if other people start to interpret something abstract, it can be even more diverse, and we can become different kinds 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) located at the Green Bank Observatory (GBO), and the Medicina Radio Astronomical Station managed by the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF).
To guarantee the preservation and availability of the processed message, Filecoin has been used for secure storage, ensuring that the valuable information in the message remains intact and readily available for analysis and interpretation.
People now have the opportunity to interpret the message themselves.
A great leap for mankind
This is not the first time the Filecoin Foundation has explored blockchain’s utility in space. In a statement released on January 17, 2023, the Filecoin Foundation and Lockheed Martin announced that they are collaborating to deploy the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) in space later this year.
In the announcement, Marta Belcher highlighted that IPFS eliminates the need for data to be continuously transferred between Earth and space, streamlining and speeding up the data acquisition process.
Although many use cases are currently being explored, from international payments, to supply chain management and regulatory compliance, storing simulated extraterrestrial messages from Mars is one that is rarely mentioned, despite demonstrating the broad capabilities of the underlying blockchain technology.
crypto.news has contacted the Filecoin Foundation for a response to blockchain’s unique position to preserve simulated alien communications and is currently awaiting their response.