’Mock’ alien message received from Mars for the first time, training to decode it

The ESA spacecraft has been orbiting Mars since October 2016.

Humans have always been fascinated by space and the possibility of living on a planet other than Earth. Various space agencies around the world are sending space missions to find out if any other planet has sentient beings and what would happen if such contact were to occur. To prepare a response to such a signal, the European Space Agency (ESA) sent a 'fake’ signal from Mars using its ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. The coded message was shown on May 24 at 9 pm IST as part of the agency’s 'A Sign in Space’ project.

„Throughout history, humanity has sought meaning in powerful and transformative events. Receiving a message from an extraterrestrial civilization can be a profoundly transformative experience for all of humanity,” said Daniela de Balis, the artist behind the project.

The ESA spacecraft has been orbiting the Red Planet since October 2016, searching for evidence of possible biological or geological activity.

ESA reported on its website The message was first sent to the spacecraft, the agency’s mission control center in Darmstadt, Germany, on May 10. It was stored in its memory, converted into 'telemetry’ (data) and beamed down to earth.

„Public and experts from all countries and cultures are asked to decode and interpret the message, the content of which is kept under lock and key,” the ESA added.

It also asked those who overcame it to submit an explanation to the ESA about what that means.

„Submit your scientific data, thoughts, sketches, drawings and ideas for technical decoding and cultural interpretation of the message. Contributions will be posted on the project’s website and social media related to the project, sharing the process of decoding and interpreting the message with the world,” the company said.

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Also available on the project website Dedicated page Contains details on how to submit a decoded message from Mars.

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