Bebo Launches Interstellar Publicity Stunt

Jemima Kiss is reporting that “Bebo and the TV company behind Wife Swap have teamed up with one of the world’s experts in interstellar radio communication, Dr Alexander Zaitsev, to beam 500 messages from users into space in a digital time capsule.” This means up to 500 users will be able to beam their messages to a planet 20 light years from earth in hopes that their message reaches another life form.

Given that on this planet there are millions of radio waves floating around on a daily basis, even if the messages do make it 20 light years away, I’m not sure that any living creature will be able to receive it. The concept that other “intelligent life” on another planet has also discovered something called “radio waves” is mind blowing. This experiment is literally “a shot in the dark”.

The messages will be sent by Bebo users, celebrities and politicians. When asked about the content of the messages, Dr. Zaitsev said, “I understand that in the majority of cases these messages may be naïve, but I also hope that we will receive a creative and fresh look at the subject.” It sounds like an interesting concept to me but I’m not sure how effective this will ultimately be.

While blasting out interstellar messages sounds amazing, the effect of this seems relatively useless. Who exactly will be listening to see if the “intelligent life” 20 light years away beam anything back? Perhaps they will simply shoot back a rocket? For now this appears to be a successful publicity stunt which has attracted the attention of a few blogs.