Wormhole Adventurers | Remix The Golden Record

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.

The Failure Free Capsule

The Failure Safe Capsule is a new point of view upon the design of the capsule and what is inside of it.

We are The Wormhole Adventurers, a team made up of 6 people; 4 boys and 2 girls. With our team being diverse, as we are into different fields of science, we take our chances against a very creative challenge like "Remix The Golden Records". Former records from the try-out of this task dating back 39 years ago recommend us to work in the topic of "How to enhance the preservation of the content?" and "How to improve the encoding of the message?".

How to enhance the preservation of the content?

So you put a capsule into a shuttle equipped with a beacon and the launch it into space, expecting another extraterrestrial specie is going to find it. But the problem is much more dense when we think about the capsule. There is a huge risk of failing with the content never being able to be perceived if we send a basic capsule and expect the Xeno to open it properly. So our team looked closely into the problems that could occur and figured out the solution to what we can say is the best fail-safe device. The capsule is hermetic, covered in repeated layers of Aluminum (approx. 40%), Graphene (approx. 10%), HFC (approx. 40%) and another layer of Graphene (approx. 10%). It is separated in 3 parts: the trunk and 2 air-filled hemispheres. The trunk preserves the content in a vacuumed space so there are no reactions going on inside like oxidation. Thus we can have electrical devices inside while maintaining their functionality. The capsule is 86 cm high and 50 cm wide. When the Xeno captures the capsule and decides to open it, they'll have to use an hydraulic button in the middle of the trunk. The pressure provided by the push will rotate the hinges which hold a golden foil in the mouth of the pipe, allowing air to slowly escape the hemisphere-like tanks and inflate the tank to a reasonable pressure (5 atm). Upon the execution of this process, the capsule is available to open. No intelligent organism can live in pressures above 5 atm because otherwise they can't have access to technology. In a hyperbaric situation, the air will escape outside with a burst without damaging the content. Having a 5 atm pressure means an hypobaric situation is impossible. Due to the calculations, the initial pressure in the air tank will be 14 atm.

How to improve the encoding of the message?

We don't have to let those who find the capsule to encode the message when we can deliver it initially the way we want it to be perceived. So instead of using a disc which should then be played by the Xeno using a device they'll probably won't have, we can send the a device which could work the same way as a MP3-player. Now that we can preserve mechanisms we don' have to send material which must be decoded anymore. We can finally send content that can be understood up to a scale by them from a naked eye observation. Advancements in technology in these 39 years are the key to the drastically success increment for this mission. By this we mean the devices that were unavailable back then for playing music, viewing images etc.


SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.