The Challenge | Remix The Golden Record

Develop a concept for a time capsule with content to educate an extraterrestrial civilization about human culture and our solar system.

Holograms to the Space!

We consider rewriting the pulsar map in a 3D manner, using holograms. We also develop another way to convey units of measurement and numeration systems. We will send vacuumed pieces of tissue.


The essence of humanity is best described by us, by the organic matter that forms us. Therefore, the easiest way to describe this to somebody is by sending some tissue samples. A way to conserve them is by vacuum.

  • Disadvantages of the Golden Record pulsar map:

-Hard to decode the pulse frequency

-Ambiguity regarding the elevation of the pulsar streams from the plane’s galaxy

We shall instead use a hologram employing the technology developed by the Brigham Young University

How does the hologram fix the problems:

  • 3D scale model of the pulsars
  • The pulsars pulse according to their true frequencies
  • Numeration System
  • Unit of Length
  • How is the content stored

Numeration is intrinsic to all intelligent life forms. We shall have a numeration module pulse light, vibrate and emit sound synchronously a number of times, while displaying an filled/empty circle representation of the binary system.

We will include a crowbar-shaped piece of copper plated with gold, which will represent the basis for our measurement system. The piece will measure 1m. We will include a series of representations of pieces side-by-side, accompanied by the corresponding representation of the binary number counting the number of times the piece appears, in order to convey the idea of multiples of the unit measurement. Then, we shall include the length of the Sun-Center of the galaxy distance as a 60-bit number, which will aid the aliens in finding the distance from Earth to the pulsars used to localize Earth.

The capsule will be voided. When the void is broken (the capsule breaks/ is opened) a piezoelectric sensor will trigger a circuit, connecting a long-lasting energy source to the hologram.



SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.