A study was published explaining that the images won’t be nude photographs of actual people, but rather pixelated nude stencils of a man and a woman next to a drawing of their DNA. The sketches will be sent out as part of NASA’s “Beacon in the Galaxy” project, which aims to send a message to alien civilizations that could exist in the Milky Way.
The male and female outlines will be waving hello, with each drawing attached as part of a binary coded message asking alien lifeforms to make contact. Scientists believe the binary code could be extensively understood by extraterrestrials.
“Though the concept of mathematics in human terms is potentially unrecognizable to extra-terrestrial intelligence, binary is likely universal across all intelligence,” the study reads. “Binary is the simplest form of mathematics as it involves only two opposing states: zero and one, yes or no, black or white, mass or empty space.”
Per NASA’s study, The proposed message includes basic mathematical and physical concepts to establish a universal means of communication followed by information on the biochemical composition of life on Earth, the Solar System’s time-stamped position in the Milky Way relative to known globular clusters, as well as digitized depictions of the Solar System, and Earth’s surface.”
This isn’t the first time NASA used naked sketches of humans in order to try and make alien contact. The Pioneer plaques sent to space on the 1972 Pioneer 10 and 1973 Pioneer 11 missions also included drawings of naked humans.
The latest attempt at extraterrestrial contact comes as NASA plans to retire its three International Space Stations in 2030 and plunge them into the Atlantic Ocean in order to make room for the private sector.
“The private sector is technically and financially capable of developing and operating commercial low-Earth orbit destinations, with NASA’s assistance,” said Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at NASA Headquarters. “We look forward to sharing our lessons learned and operations experience with the private sector to help them develop safe, reliable, and cost-effective destinations in space.”