Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Metal Message In Space  
  A message sent to other worlds, inscribed on metal.  

This is the first instance of the idea of using some sort of very durable material (meta) to create a universally readable message sent physically across space to another race of beings.

This message cylinder was sent by rocket, and survived a trip through the atmosphere of Earth. Note that it was not sent on an exploratory spacecraft.

Nearly an hour later, the three scientists succeeded in removing the end of the metal cylinder. The delay was caused by the deep dent in the “cap," and this latter proved to be a solid piece of metal with a tapered neck, at the narrow end of which was a left-handed screw. At first glance they thought the cylinder empty, but a closer inspection revealed that there was an inner cylinder of some very thin metal. Withdrawing this, they were surprised to find that it was a rolled-up sheet of a thin, dark metal strange to them. Spreading this out with some difficulty, and holding it down with heavy paper weights, they proceeded to examine a variety of inscriptions with which it was covered.


(The message capsule from 'The Menace From Space' by John Edwards)

“Seems to have been rolled up some time, to judge from the spring in it," observed Haskell. Morrison nodded. “That is not surprising, if it comes from the place I surmise.” Bradbury, who had temporarily forgotten even his beloved red moss in this new development, looked at him inquiringly, but Morrison was concentrating upon the sheet of inscriptions. This was about eight inches wide, and had unrolled to a length of two feet or so. Near the left-hand edge as they looked at it was inscribed a disc which, from the multitude of rays emanating from it, might be taken to represent the sun. Very close to this was a tiny circle, while three slightly larger discs were shown at varying distances of a few inches. Extending across the full width of the right-hand end of the sheet, rvas a series of curved scratches upon which was super-imposed a vertical arrangement of strange letters. A similar series of vertical characters in several columns, and of smaller size, occupied the top left corner.


(The alien chart from 'The Menace From Space' by John Edwards)

Similar printing, if such it was, labeled each small disc.

Over all, on the left, right, top, and bottom of this strange “chart" were four great symbols which could be taken for nothing else but a variation of arrow-heads, indicating direction.

There was a dead silence for several minutes in the library, while each man formed his own conclusions about the queer chart before them. Then Morrison heaved a great sigh as he stood back from the table.

“There,” he said impressively, “you have a universal cryptogram — yet it is one which can be interpreted by any intelligent creature on any planet in the Solar System! The printing we cannot interpret straight away — but that matters little. The sketch is self-explanatory; that is, to anyone endowed with average intelligence.”

Bradbury snorted at this final piece of sarcasm, though his gray eyes twinkled. “You mean, doctor, that it is obvious to an astronomer, don’t you ? I quite see, of course, that this — er — cryptogram is in part a plan view of the inner planets of the Solar System. That, however, does not tell me where this thing comes from, nor can I make anything of those weird scratches to the right side. Sure you’ve got it the right way up ?”

Technovelgy from The Menace From Space, by John Edwards.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1934
Additional resources -

This is an early precursor to the Pioneer plaques:

The Pioneer plaques are a pair of gold-anodized aluminum plaques that were placed on board the 1972 Pioneer 10 and 1973 Pioneer 11 spacecraft, featuring a pictorial message, in case either Pioneer 10 or 11 is intercepted by intelligent extraterrestrial life. The plaques show the nude figures of a human male and female along with several symbols that are designed to provide information about the origin of the spacecraft.


(The Pioneer plaque)

The Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft were the first human-built objects to achieve escape velocity from the Solar System. The plaques were attached to the spacecraft's antenna support struts in a position that would shield them from erosion by interstellar dust.

The Pioneer plaque was also designed to have a special location that protected it from micrometeorite impacts:


(The Pioneer plaque protected from space debris)

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Menace From Space
  More Ideas and Technology by John Edwards
  Tech news articles related to The Menace From Space
  Tech news articles related to works by John Edwards

Metal Message In Space-related news articles:
  - MXenes - Atomic-Thin Metal Sheets Now Easier To Make
  - Europa Clipper Plate Carries A Special Message

Articles related to Communication
Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
NYC/Dublin Portal Fails To Meet 'Guardian Of Forever' Standards
Holobox? Who Doesn't Want A Home Hologram?
EBS-260 Handjet Free Hand Dot Matrix Printer

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.