Tuesday, December 18, 2007

saving the earth from space

George has had a couple of grizzly days, but his moods are becoming more and more defined. He makes it clear when he’s happy or sad. He likes the early mornings – just before breakfast probably because he gets Lisa and I to himself and he gets to lie between us getting attention from both of us. He’s usually just been fed and he’s cheerful for an hour or so, rolling his head back and forth to look first at Lisa, then at me. He looks like he’s watching a tennis match (except that he looks interested).

An idea
Here’s an idea I’ve been toying with since I discovered that you can launch a 10x10x10cm satellite for about £30,000. I mocked up a couple of image ideas today to see how it would work (click on them to see the full size image).

The idea is simple enough:

To launch a satellite into orbit containing a digital time capsule in the form of an mp3 player filled with messages from the Earth – in the spirit of the voyager mission.

To invite anyone to submit text messages, photos, audio and video files to be included on the satellite via a website accessible globally before launch.

To charge an amount for the messages which anyone can afford.

To use the proceeds to buy and preserve an area of rainforest large enough to be visible from space

Possible extra aims:

To include on the satellite dna samples from the world’s most endangered creatures

To include on the satellite camera and other scientific equipment and make control and use of that equipment freely available to anyone via a website – democratizing space for everyone.

I said it was simple. But it’s also terrifying. The technical side isn’t difficult – or at least it’s not insurmountably hard. However, the scale of it is huge. Half of me thinks it’s so big I can’t possibly do it. I’d have to get corporate sponsorship, put together a satellite building team, get a major charity on board, get celebrity endorsements, get a global publicity launch going, get a team to build a charging system… and that’s before we even get to launching the thing into space. It’s so far beyond the realms of achievability that it’s ridiculous.

And then there’s the other half of me. The half that thinks that this is an idea which will appeal to an awful lot of people. That there’s the potential here to raise an incredible amount of money for an environmental charity… and that having had the idea, I can’t possibly not do it.

I’ll let you know which half wins.

1 comment:

ash said...

what does this achieve?