Skip navigation

Hello, ET? Web site sends texts into space will transmit users’ messages to planet Gliese 581d

Bad tech habits that just have to go
Bad habits are hard to break, but it's time to usher out some of our bad technology-related behavior. After all, tech moves forward at a rapid rate, and so should we.
Video: Space news
NASA to develop space taxis?
Aug. 13: NASA is developing a $50 million dollar program to develop space taxis, putting out a call for ideas on how to execute this. NBC’s Jay Barbree and Jim Oberg join Morning Meeting.

  RSS feeds on

Add these headlines to your news reader

updated 4:29 p.m. ET Aug. 12, 2009

CANBERRA, Australia - An Australian Web site is giving texting an intergalactic touch and allowing users to send short mobile phone-type messages into space.

From Aug. 12 until Aug. 24, people hankering for an out-of-this-world experience can visit to post messages no longer than 160 characters that will be transmitted to Gliese 581d, the nearest Earth-like planet outside the solar system likely to support life.

Expected delivery time, however, is some 20 years, the Web site said. And there's no guarantee of a response.

Story continues below ↓
advertisement | your ad here

"It's like a 'message in a bottle' cast out into the stars. What's interesting is not just whether there's anyone listening, but what the public will say to intelligent life on another planet," said project spokesperson Wilson da Silva.

"Hello From Earth is our way of showing that science can make the impossible possible. We have been to the moon and now, we can speak to the stars," he said in a statement.

The messages, to be transmitted from the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, with the close cooperation of U.S. space agency NASA, is part of Australia's National Science Week which celebrates the country's scientific achievements and creates awareness of the importance of science.

Science Minister Kim Carr entered the first message to launch the project.

"Hello from Australia on the planet we call Earth. These messages express our people's dreams for the future. We want to share those dreams with you," his message said.

"As a child I, like many Australians, stared up at the stars and wondered what was out there. Now science has allowed me to send a personal message that may answer that question," Carr said.

Copyright 2009 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

Resource guide