Libraries in Space
Cool! There is now officially a library on Mars:
NASA’s Phoenix mission has just returned the first images of a library on another world! The Planetary Society's Phoenix DVD -- which carries Visions of Mars, a collection of 19th and 20th century science fiction stories, essays and art inspired by the Red Planet -- landed on Mars on May 25, 2008 aboard the Phoenix spacecraft. Attached to the deck of the Phoenix lander, the DVD also includes the names of more than a quarter million inhabitants of Earth.
The first images of the disk, taken by the Surface Stereo Imager (SSI), show the DVD at home on its new planet, waiting to be found by astronauts of the future. In fact the label on the disk says, “Attention Astronauts: Take This with You,” which appears clearly in the crisp SSI images.
"Seeing Visions of Mars on the Red Planet culminates fifteen years of effort," said Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society, who conceived the idea for Visions of Mars. "This disc serves as a message to the future, as well as a memorial to the past, including to those on the disc, like Carl Sagan and Arthur C. Clarke, who are no longer with us."
The contents of Visions of Mars represent nearly 30 nations and cultures. Mars has long fired the imaginations of people around the world, and that fascination has been captured in countless stories and artistic visions of the Red Planet. The Planetary Society brought together the best of those visions to add an extra dimension to the Phoenix mission. The collection includes works by The Planetary Society's co-founder Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Kim Stanley Robinson, Arthur C. Clarke, Percival Lowell, and many more. Visit http://planetary.org/phoenixdvd for more information and to view some of the images from Phoenix.
The library should be able to last many hundreds of years on Mars, so there will be plenty of time for a future generation to discover and enjoy the works included on the DVD.
How do I get to be the librarian?