The Deep Space Communications Network's first transmission of messages to outer space. The sun was setting as they worked, hence the spectacular image.
Businessman Jim Lewis has been a friend of mine for two decades, ever since he asked me if I would be interested in doing some freelance work for his production company--Communications Concepts Inc.--in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Most of his work comes from military and space related corporations, so producing videos and television broadcasts of space launches and other scientific enterprises has become his speciality.
Jim also writes movie scripts and television shows; so he's a creative guy. What I didn't realize until this week, was that his interest in broadcasting has now gone much father afield.
Farther afield than planet earth, that is.
He has formed a second company, in addition to CCI, called the Deep Space Communications Network. The Deep Space Network will sell you the opportunity to send messages into outer space. Messages to anything that might be within hearing distance Out There. Like aliens, for instance. And lest you think this is not taken seriously: Craig of Craig's List was one of his first customers.
Jim Lewis in his office with a model of the Korean satellite launched for KARI, the Korean Aerospace Research Institute. He produced television coverage of the launch from Vandenberg AFB which was seen worldwide.
Now, he is advertising on eBay as well. And on eBay he is encouraging people all over the planet to bid on the opportunity to send a "virtual self" into the galaxies, so it can float around there and meet up, one day, with anything or anyone of some form or another who/which might be able to decode what you send. Like the double helixes of your DNA, for instance. Scans of your photos.
DNA is one thing: but I, for one, would exclude a scan of my driver's license photo.
And, for the record, the price is not inconsiderable. Think five figures.
Jim's company will also store your "virtual self" in a safe place here on earth; just in case somebody wants to clone or reincarnate you prior to the Second Coming when, presumably, you'll have to account for the behavior of both your first and any additional selves on Judgment Day.
Jim Lewis' Deep Space Network satellite truck in action outside the Planetarium of Brevard Community College.
My sister says she is having enough trouble trying to keep up with her correspondence and email right here on earth, so she has decided not to take advantage of Jim's technology. Her inbox overfloweth. But, Jim and his Deep Space Network may find they have plenty of takers. As one gets older one does ask oneself: what, on earth, am I doing here?
So, what with that and the popularity of Science Fiction books, the Star Wars saga and the Star Trek phenomenon: it probably isn't only Buzz Lightyear who yearns to head off into " ... infinity and beyond!"
It would, at least, be a good escape from spam. I hope they don't have that in outer space too. Otherwise, they might put our messages in their spam file and we'd have to start this thing all over again.
For more information on Jim Lewis and the Deep Space Network check out his ad on eBay:
CONTACT ALIENS ON EBAY
Or find further information on Florida Today's web site:
FLORIDA TODAY: FIRM SENDS MISSIVES TO SPACE