Broadcast 578

14 Sep 2008 Alex Kirk
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DEEP SPACE MESSAGE WITH ALEX KIRK Hello to anyone listening out there and to Space Show listeners. My name is David Livingston, host of The Space Show, and we are bringing you another Deep Space Message. This message comes to you by way of Alex Kirk. Alex, on behalf of The Space Show, we appreciate your participating in our Deep Space Program. ------------------- I'd like to begin this message by addressing all of those listening to this message here on Earth in the early 21st century; after all, the laws of physics and the reality of the size of our universe mean that you're probably going to be the only intelligent beings ever to hear what I have to say. When I was presented with the opportunity to send a message into deep space, I struggled to find something profound enough to be worthy of such an honor; after all, only a tiny fraction of the Earth's population ever gets the opportunity to send out something like this. What could I possibly have to say that hasn't been said before, and that would be worthy of living on forever in the annals of human history if it were, by some stroke of blind luck, intercepted by an intelligent alien civilization as their first contact with Earth? After all, I'm just a regular guy - no Buzz Aldrin, no Steven Hawking, not even a high-level yet low-publicity NASA engineer or software designer. Then it struck me: it doesn't matter who I am or how much I've done to advance the cause of human space exploration. Like everyone else who has ever worked, in any capacity - all the way from the heads of the space program down to the lowliest janitor at a NASA contracting facility, from the organizers of space advocacy groups down to someone who once sent a letter to Congress in support of NASA funding - I'm a part, however small, of one of the greatest times in human history. Exploration of new frontiers is one of the defining characteristics of human civilization, and one of the very few qualities that sets us apart from other life forms here on Earth. The day when we leave our native planet on a permanent basis will be one of the most epic moments in all of human history, sure to be studied and relived by humans throughout the rest of our existence as a species, and certain to be of interest to any intelligent life forms we may one day meet as we explore the universe. Chances are that you, like me, will not make the history books, and will not be known by name to these future civilizations. With that in mind, though, you should remember - especially when times are tough, and when the short-sighted among us try to keep humanity from achieving its destiny of becoming a spacefaring species - that even though you may fade into obscurity as an individual, you will be forever remembered fondly as someone who took part in one of the great moments of the human race. To any humans who may be listening to this message in the future - be it days, months, years, or even centuries or millennia from today, September 14, 2008 - I hope that whatever negative things have been said about human civilization of this time and place, as richly deserved as they may be, you can take a moment to realize that not all of us were savages hell-bent on destroying each other, or fools more concerned with the mundanities of our daily lives than the advancement of great causes such as the exploration of space, the pursuit of peaceful coexistence between human societies, or even helping those immediately around us lead better, happier lives. We're not all idiots, despite everything else you may have seen or heard about us. Finally, let me address to any non-human life forms that may one day receive and understand this message. You've overcome incredible odds simply to have found and decoded this transmission, which many humans of present-day Earth would take as a sign that some greater force in the universe meant for you to find us. If the vast expanse of our universe prevents you from ever meeting directly with the human race, so be it; at the very least, it should help you answer what has been, for humanity, one of the most pressing questions of all time - whether we are alone in the universe or not. Should you have conquered the laws of physics and developed technology that will allow you to visit humanity one day, you can rest assured that at the very least, the humans of Earth in a time we reckoned as the 21st century would have been excited to meet you, so that we could both expand our knowledge of time and space through trade of goods and ideas in a mutually beneficial fashion. I can only hope that any humans you may meet will feel the same way. Alex, thanks on behalf of The Space Show and its global listening audience. And to anyone out there who hears this message and if you have access to Earth's internet, come join us at www.thespaceshow.com Thanks for participating and for listening Dr. David Livingston, Host The Space Show

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