Tag: Mars

Einstein, Tesla, Edison, and Marconi on Radio Signals from Aliens

Article by Alejandro Rojas                            June 3, 2020                             (denofgeek.com)

• Tesla and Marconi, the renowned scientists who invented the radio, believed they had received contact from intelligent extraterrestrial beings. This subject is at the center of Amazon Prime’s drama, The Vast of Night, where a switchboard operator and a DJ in a small town in the 1950s discover a strange, potentially alien, audio signal that leads them on a wild investigation to find the origins of the signal.

• The famous inventor, Nikola Tesla, is often credited with the invention of the radio. Tesla claimed he received strange signals while experimenting with radio at his lab in Colorado Springs in 1899. He told Collier’s Weekly that he was alone in his lab at night when there was present “something mysterious, not to say supernatural”. “[S]ome time afterward… the thought flashed upon my mind that the disturbances I had observed (on the radio) might be due to an intelligent control,” said Tesla. “Although I could not decipher their meaning, it was impossible for me to think of them as having been entirely accidental. The feeling is constantly growing on me that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another.”

• The Collier’s article goes on to argue that despite whether the signal was from aliens or not (Tesla suspected it was Martians) the technology he was working on would have the potential to be used to communicate distances as vast as those between the planets in our solar system.

• Another pioneer in the invention of the radio is the Italian inventor, Guglielmo Marconi. In 1920, Marconi wrote, “I have encountered during my experiments with wireless telegraphy [a] most amazing phenomenon,” wrote Marconi. “Most striking of all is receipt by me personally of signals which I believe originated in the space beyond our planet. I believe it is entirely possible that these signals may have been sent by the inhabitants of other planets to the inhabitants of Earth.” “Linking of the science of astronomy with that of electricity may bring about almost anything.”

• The famous inventor, Thomas Edison, agreed with Marconi. “I can plainly see that the mysterious wireless interruptions experience by Mr. Marconi’s operators may be good grounds for the theory that inhabitants of other planets are trying to signal us,” said Edison. “Mr. Marconi is quite right in stating that this is entirely within the realm of possible.” Edison continued, “If we are to accept the theory of Mr. Marconi that these signals are being sent out by inhabitants of other planets, we must at once accept with it the theory of their advanced development.” “It would be stupid of us to assume that we have the corner on all the intelligence in the universe.”

• Tesla also weighed in on Marconi’s suggestion that we might be able to communicate with extraterrestrial civilizations on other planets, saying, “Marconi’s idea of communicating with the other planets is the greatest and most fascinating problem confronting the human imagination today.” Then Tesla related a similar story of his own: “One day my ear caught what seemed to be regular signals. I knew they could not have been produced upon Earth. The possibility that they came from Mars occurred to me…”

• Even Albert Einstein reflected on his fellow scientists’ theories. “There is every reason to believe that Mars and other planets are inhabited,” said Einstein. “Why should the Earth be the only planet supporting human life? It is not singular in any other respect. But if intelligent creatures do exist, as we may assume they do elsewhere in the universe, I should not expect them to try to communicate with the Earth by wireless [radio]. Light rays, the direction of which can be controlled much more easily, would more probably be the first method attempted.” Nevertheless, radio waves became the predominant method used to search for alien signals.

• In 1924, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy felt that the close approach of Mars would be an opportune time to listen in for signals from Martians. He sent out a telegram asking radio stations to listen in. After all, some of the biggest brains in the business thought it was possible.

 

A switchboard operator and a DJ in a small town in the 1950s discover a strange, potentially alien, audio signal that leads them on a wild investigation to find the origins of the signal. This is the plot for The Vast of Night, which is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Could our first contact with aliens be as simple as a radio signal from aliens saying, “Hi?” The renowned scientists who invented the radio believed they received precisely that early in their experiments. Today, scientists spend millions to listen in on radio signals from space hoping to hear that first transmission from an extraterrestrial civilization.

                          Nikola Tesla

A complicated debate rages as to who first invented the radio. On the U.S. side is Nikola Tesla, the

     Guglielmo Marconi

famous inventor who is the namesake for Elon Musk’s Tesla electric vehicle company. Representing the Europeans is Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi. They both were pioneers in developing radio communication. For our purposes, it doesn’t matter who you feel should get credit for inventing radio communication, because both of them claimed to have possibly received radio signals from aliens.

The first was Tesla. In an article titled “Talking with the Planets” for Collier’s Weekly in 1901, Tesla claimed he received strange signals while experimenting with radio at his lab in Colorado Springs in 1899.

“Even now, at times, I can vividly recall the incident, and see my apparatus as though it were actually before me,” wrote Tesla. “My first observations positively terrified me, as there was present in them something mysterious, not to say supernatural, and I was alone in my laboratory at night; but at that time the idea of these disturbances being intelligently controlled signals did not yet present itself to me.”

           Albert Einstein

“It was some time afterward when the thought flashed upon my mind that the disturbances I had observed might

         Thomas Edison

be due to an intelligent control,” Tesla continued. “Although I could not decipher their meaning, it was impossible for me to think of them as having been entirely accidental. The feeling is constantly growing on me that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another.”

The article goes on to argue that despite whether the signal was from aliens or not (Tesla suspected it would likely be Martians) the technology he was working on would have the potential to be used to communicate distances as vast as those between the panels in our solar system. This may have been the first time anyone used the “I am not saying it’s aliens, but…” line. Which was pretty bold at the time, especially given that earlier in the article, he noted skeptics questioned whether two-way radio communication was possible.

Marconi shared his alien signal encounter in an article in 1920.

“I have encountered during my experiments with wireless telegraphy [a] most amazing phenomenon,” wrote Marconi. “Most striking of all is receipt by me personally of signals which I believe originated in the space beyond our planet. I believe it is entirely possible that these signals may have been sent by the inhabitants of other planets to the inhabitants of earth.”

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Perseverance Rover Instruments to Search for Alien Life

Article by Tom Fish                            May 28, 2020                            (express.co.uk)

• NASA plans to launch a Mars rover mission on July 17, 2020 to arrive on Mars’ surface on February 18, 2021. The space agency has provided new insights about the sensors that will be used on its 2020 Perseverance Rover while it traverses the Martian surface in search of evidence of alien life. A cutting-edge camera and a unique ultraviolet laser will work in tandem to analyze the chemical and mineral makeup of the Red Planet’s soil. Experts hope this can track down potential signs of past alien life.

• The main instrument, called ‘SHERLOC’ (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals) will be mounted on the end of one of the Mars rover’s robotic arms. SHERLOC will emit a quarter-sized ultraviolet laser at the ground to enable scientists to measure the way the light scatters, in order to identify a spectral “fingerprint” revealing certain organic material and to determine what kind of minerals and chemical compounds the soil is made from. “If we see organics clumping together on one part of a rock, it might be a sign that microbes thrived there in the past,” said NASA’s Luther Beegle.

• SHERLOC will work with ‘WATSON’ (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and Engineering), another instrument that will help with the light-scattering spectroscopy and allow the Mars rover’s remote pilots to identify promising areas of the ground from which to collect samples. WATSON can also be rotated to take selfies of the Perseverance and to keep track of the rover’s condition. The Perseverance 2020 Rover will also monitor the effects of radiation on samples of human space suit fabric and helmet material to determine whether it is safe to use. The rover’s robotic arm will place the samples in half-inch wide metal tubes that will be left on Mars’ surface for a subsequent Mars mission crew to retrieve and return to Earth for detailed analysis.

 

US-based space agency NASA has offered new insights about the sensors used on its 2020 Perseverance rover while it traverses the Martian surface in

    NASA’s Luther Beegle

search of evidence of basic forms of alien life. A cutting-edge powered camera and a unique ultraviolet laser will work in tandem to monitor the Red Planet’s soil to analyse its chemical and mineral makeup.

The main instrument, the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC), will be mounted on the end of one of the Mars rover’s robotic arms.

SHERLOC will emit a quarter-sized ultraviolet laser at the ground.

Space scientists will then measure the way the light scatters when it hits the ground to work out what kind of minerals and chemical compounds it is made from.

The technique will also identify the unique spectral “fingerprint” certain alien organic material might give off.

Extraterrestrial life experts hope this can track down potential signs of past alien life.

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NASA Sets Out Its Red Lines for 2024 Moon Landing

Article by John Varge                                May 16, 2020                             (express.co.uk)

• The ‘Artemis Program’ is NASA’s project – supported by other international space programs and private companies – to establish a permanent human settlement on the Moon by 2028, beginning by landing two astronauts near the lunar south pole in 2024. On May 15th, NASA officials revealed the core values underpinning its mission in a document called the Artemis Accords (see here). NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted: “Today I’m honored to announce the #Artemis Accords agreements — establishing a shared vision and set of principles for all international partners that join in humanity’s return to the Moon. We go, together.”

• NASA said its over-riding vision was to “create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy.” This vision is in accordance with the “peaceful purposes only” principles enshrined in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the founding document of international space law, which has been ratified by more than 100 countries, including the US.

• The Accords seek to ensure no “harmful interference” by one nation in the off-Earth affairs of another, and to publicly disclose their exploration plans and policies as well as sharing their scientific data. Artemis partners pledge to protect historic sites and artefacts on the Moon and other cosmic locales, as well as to help minimize space-junk.

• Private Moon landers will begin to ferry NASA science and technology experiments to the lunar surface next year. The Accords also cover the space mining of resources on the Moon, Mars and asteroids conducted under the auspices of the Outer Space Treaty. Moon landers will be built by commercial companies such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX. SpaceX is currently developing its huge ‘Starship’ vehicle to help colonize Mars. Starship will launch atop a huge rocket called ‘Super Heavy’, but will land on, and launch off of, the Moon and Mars on its own. Other companies awarded contracts, worth a total of $967 million for 10 months of work, are Blue Origin and Dynetics.

• NASA’s Jim Bridenstine said, “This is the first time since the Apollo era that NASA has direct funding for a human landing system, and now we have companies on contract to do the work for the Artemis program.” “America is moving forward with the final step needed to land astronauts on the Moon by 2024,” including the first woman set foot on the lunar surface.

 

The US Space Agency has always recognised that international cooperation will be vital if its Artemis programme is to succeed. Artemis is the ambitious project to land two astronauts near the lunar south pole in 2024, as a precursor to establishing a permanent human lunar settlement by 2028. On Friday, NASA officials revealed the core values underpinning its mission in a document called the Artemis Accords, which stress the peaceful nature of its exploration.

In a tweet, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote: “It’s a new dawn for space exploration!

NASA’s Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX’s Elon Musk, doing his famous ‘Zoolander’ impression

“Today I’m honored to announce the #Artemis Accords agreements — establishing a shared vision and set of principles for all international partners that join in humanity’s return to the Moon.

“We go, together.”

In accordance with principles enshrined in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, NASA said its over-riding vision was to “create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy.”

The outer Space Treaty (OST) is the founding document of international space law.

It has been ratified by more than 100 countries, including the United States and other leading space powers.

The OTS stipulates that space exploration should be carried out for peaceful purposes only.

Artemis partners will also be required to be completely transparent about their activities, which means publicly disclosing their exploration plans and policies as well as sharing their scientific data.

The Accords also cover space mining, which NASA sees as key to humanity’s exploration efforts over the long haul.

NASA officials said the ability to extract and use resources on the moon, Mars and even asteroids would be critical “to support safe and sustainable space exploration and development”.

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