WASHINGTON (TIP): A US-based space-funding company has launched a new project that will allow you to send messages and pictures to Mars. The company Uwingu in Boulder, Colorado has launched its ‘Beam Me to Mars’ project, inviting people to contribute, for a fee, to a ‘digital shout-out’ that will send messages from Earth to the Red planet. Uwingu and its transmission partner, communications provider Universal Space Network, will use radio telescopes to beam the messages on November 28 at the rate of 1 million bits per second.

The transmission, travelling at the speed of light, will reach the Red planet on that day in just 15 minutes, company representatives said. For comparison, it took the first successful Mars mission, Nasa’s Mariner 4, launched on November 28, 1964 more than seven months to get to the Red planet. ‘Beam Me to Mars’ celebrates Mariner 4’s landmark effort in a new and original way, the company said. The messages won’t be read or recorded by anyone on Mars but they’ll be archived here on Earth, and participants will receive a commemorative certificate. “We want it to inspire people,” said Uwingu CEO Alan Stern, a planetary scientist and former Nasa science chief.

“There has never been an opportunity before for people of Earth to shout out across the solar system their hopes and wishes for space exploration, for the future of mankind – for any of that,” Stern told You can beam your name — or someone else’s — to the Red Planet for $4.95. For $9.95, you can contribute a name and a 100-character message, while $19.95 gets you a 1,000-character note. You can also shell out $99 to send a name, a long message and an image of your choice.

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