The silica-glass DVD on Mars.
In a 2006 press release titled Fly Your Name on NASA’s Phoenix Mission to Mars by Mat Kaplan, The Planetary Society unveiled the “Visions of Mars” DVD, a ‘message in a bottle’ to future Martian explorers.
The “Visions of Mars” DVD is a silica-glass disk created and edited by Jon Lomberg, an artist and Planetary Society advisor. The silica-glass DVD contains the first digital library on Mars. When the Phoenix Mars Lander touched down on the surface of Mars on May 25, 2008, the first Martian library landed on the Red Planet as well.
“Visions of Mars” carries the voices and recordings of visionaries which include Planetary Society co-founders Dr. Carl Sagan and Dr. Louis Friedman, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Percival Lowell, Arthur C. Clarke and more. The silica-glass disk also contains “War of the Worlds,” the famed radio broadcast of HG Wells. The DVD disk features a compendium of stories, essays and art from the 19th and 20th century as well.
In addition to the voices of visionaries and Mars inspired literature, the mini-DVD stores 20 nations and cultures as well as thousands of names from people around the world. In Kaplan’s press release, Planetary Society members and people from around the world were encouraged to participate in the Martian mission by submitting their names as well as the names of family, friends, loved ones and more. The inclusion of these names allowed the people of Earth to share a connection with the Red Planet.
According to The Planetary Society’s Director of Projects Dr. Bruce Betts, those who participated in submitting their names aboard the mission would have an opportunity to “see themselves on Mars” when the Phoenix sent calibrated images back to Earth.
Visions of Mars is a message from our world to future human inhabitants of Mars. It launched on its way on August 4, 2007 aboard the spacecraft Phoenix, and arrived at the Red Planet May 25, 2008. Along with personal messages from leading space visionaries of our time, Visions of Marsincludes a priceless collection of Mars literature, and art, and a list of hundreds of thousands of names of space enthusiasts from around the world. The entire collection was encoded on an archival silica-glass mini-DVD provided by The Planetary Society, designed to last hundreds — if not thousands — of years.