NASA has approved an independent project that will allow a crowd-sourced message to be sent into space via the New Horizon’s space probe. When NASA’s New Horizons mission finishes studying Pluto next summer, the data will be streamed from Earth to the spacecraft to create a digital record. The New Horizons will then take with it on its planned journey beyond the solar system, for any intelligent lifeforms which may encounter it.

The project was started by Jon Lomberg, who worked on Carl Sagan’s Voyager time capsule in the 70’s. Once the program is fully formed, the content will be culled with the help of the public. The project’s final message will be shaped by online voters as well as Lomberg and NASA, but the possibilities are extensive:

Based on bandwidth and New Horizons onboard computers, we think we could send pictures and sounds as we did on the Voyager Record And perhaps new kinds of files as well, such as software or games, 3D maps and globes, and whatever other good ideas the world’s creative minds can suggest.

The project will use a Kickstarter to raise the $500,000 needed to proceed, and an official statement with submission guidelines is promised August 25th. (Photo: NASA/Thierry Lombry)