The Voices of Humanity project is led by Professor Philip Lubin from Orlando University has developed the idea in the hope it will help them to develop a first generation laser-driven small spacecraft as part of NASA's program to explore interstellar flight.
"We wanted to carry part of humanity on these spacecraft," Professor Lubin told Sputnik.
"On these tiny spacecraft that are semiconductor wafers — we will reverse a small portion that will be like a 'humanity ark.' In this campaign we call the data on this 'ark' the 'Voices of Humanity.' Carrying your digitized DNA on this 'ark' is simply one form of data we will carry along with your messages, poems, letters, pictures, movies, audio files (literal voices) etc.," Professor Lubin added.
With their basic funding target of US$30,000, Professor Lubin and his team will put your data on a custom spacecraft that will launch in 2017. This will go initially into low Earth orbit (LEO), and then it will travel to far more distant places, such as the moon and Mars.
The next stage of the project will be to raise funds of US$100,000, which will be used to develop a sophisticated ground-based laser and robotic telescope that will allow your data to be optionally transmitted via laser to space using the "Beam Me Up" mode. This will allow the person's DNA to be sent up into space.
Hacker News — Voices of Humanity – The World's Space Time Capsule https://t.co/N80Ucy7k4Q— Sec News Bot (@SecNewsBot) July 25, 2016
So would the person whose data is being placed on the spacecraft be able to feel like they are in space? According to Professor Lubin you will not experience any personal detachment but what you will see is something far more breathtaking.
"You will be able to see space in a beautiful way, seeing yourself in the universe. That will have enhanced and expanded your presence in the universe. You can get your DNA sequenced now or more technically, for a low cost, genotyped. This information is in digital form. We will download that digital form to our spacecraft and carry it," Professor Lubin said.
Professor Lubin hopes with his technology he will be able to "back up humanity" using the universe as our "cloud" with your images pictures, texts, tweets, video and DNA. The data will live forever in the universe and the person will be immortalized.
"By backing up humanity we will take the digital essence of humanity such as names, messages, poems, letters, pictures, movies, audio files and send it to a remote location, in this case space or more particularly — eventually — another solar system. This is an analog to how you backup your computer to a remote location such as a USB drive (right next to you), or 'the cloud' which is someone else's computer," Professor Lubin told Sputnik.
However, the overall reason for why this is being done comes down to something far more serious. Professor Lubin is working to enable every person with a voice to be heard.
"You can sponsor a child to help enable those around the world who cannot afford to pledge themselves. We will focus primarily on the voices of children from the developing world countries by direct engagement and by working with schools to have children write/email/tweet as appropriate, which allows us to include them in this space journey. Your funds will benefit those otherwise not included," Professor Lubin said.
"We want all children regardless of their ability to support to participate and will work with schools and other organizations to collect the letters, pictures etc. of children who want to participate and then digitize them and download them onto our spacecraft. We will use some for support from others to enable this program."