Australians invited to send messages into space

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Melbourne, Aug.12 (ANI): All Australians have been invited to pen an SMS-like message - no longer than 160 characters - which will eventually be transmitted to Gliese 581d, a planet 20 light years away.

The planet is considered the closest to Earth capable of supporting intelligent life. And, the transit time is just 20 years, reports news.com.au.

The country's Science Minister Kim Carr, who gets the privilege of writing the first message to be included in the mass letter, said alien life remained one of science's big questions.

"What better way to discover the limitless possibilities of science than to give Australians the opportunity to contact other intelligent life forms," he said.

"As a child I, like many Australians, stared up at the stars and wondered what was out there. Now science has allowed me to send a personal message that may answer that question," Carr said.

His message reads: "Hello from Australia on the planet we call Earth. These messages express our people's dreams for the future. We want to share those dreams with you."

The transmission will be sent from the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla, to mark the start of National Science Week.

The project has excited the global community, with NASA scientists reportedly set to keep tabs on its progress. You can make a contribution at www.hellofromearth.net. (ANI)

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