NASA’s Lucy Spacecraft Carrying Messages for ‘Intelligent Life’ and ‘Our Future Descendants’

by Michael Freeman
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

NASA sending spacecraft to planets within our solar system is hardly new, but Lucy is a different story. For this mission, it carries a plaque not just for “intelligent life” that may stumble upon it, but our future descendants.

The official NASA Twitter account recently drew attention to its upcoming Lucy mission and an interesting item the spacecraft possesses. The mission aims to explore seven of Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. However, after it completes the mission, it will continue traveling between Earth and the asteroids. This will go on for hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of years. As such, it carries a plaque as a sort of time capsule.

What makes this plaque different is it doesn’t just have a message for possible intelligent life that stumbles upon it, but our future descendants. “The Lucy mission plaque contains messages from individuals who have asked us to contemplate the state of the human condition as well as our place in the universe,” NASA tweeted.

To be more specific, it includes sayings and phrases from our most intelligent, influential thinkers. While you may think scientists like Albert Einstein are included (which he is), songwriters, poets, and leaders throughout history all have quotes on the plaque.

“These thought leaders were asked to provide words of advice, words of wisdom, words of joy, and words of inspiration to those who may read this Lucy mission plaque in the distant future,” NASA wrote.

Finally, the plaque also features a diagram with the planets’ positions relative to Lucy’s launch for reference. If you’re curious about the plaque, you can read some of the quotes on NASA’s website. Lucy launched this morning and successfully began its 12-year journey.

NASA Is Considering Putting Wi-Fi on the Moon

A few organizations have launched initiatives to help areas with problematic internet concerns. NASA is throwing its hat in the ring, by suggesting putting Wi-Fi on the moon.

Fox News shared NASA believes a lunar Wi-Fi network might help areas on Earth with trouble receiving reliable internet. NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland spearheaded the study using local neighborhoods and comparing them to a potential base near the moon’s south pole.

The study is mutually beneficial, as nearly 31 percent of Cleveland households don’t possess internet access. The plan suggests placing Wi-Fi routers on about 20,000 lamposts or nearby utility poles. If these routers are no more than 100 yards apart, neighborhoods could reach 7.5 megabits per second download speeds.

Cuyahoga County’s chief innovation and performance officer, Catherine Tkachyk, expressed excitement about the possibility. “If they can build that network on the moon I feel like we should be able to build it here!” she said. “I never really thought about how work in space could apply to the work that we do here…it’s a really strong foundation going forward for solutions and that’s what we want.”

The idea is still in the planning phases but could mean other areas get reliable internet access too, if successful.