Call from Mars

decide which sound we will broadcast from Mars to Earth

In March 2021 the first European planetary rover will land on Mars as part of the ExoMars mission. The rover's landing platform will carry 11 sound recordings (selected in this project) in the memory of a Czech scientific instrument. The sound recording that receives the most votes before the ExoMars probe lands on Mars will be transmitted back to Earth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of recordings are most suitable?

You can record anything from music through to the spoken word, poetry, a message, tidings or even simple sounds. Bear in mind, that of all the recordings we receive, we will choose 11 to send to Mars. We will be looking for something which is original and which has a message relevant to today’s world, for humankind. It should be a recording of your own work as opposed to the reading of someone else’s work. If people choose your recording for transmission, what message do you want to send them from Mars? What do you want to draw attention to? It goes without saying that we do not want to choose from recordings which are in any way offensive, vulgar, or banal. We believe that we as human beings are capable of greater things.

Why sound?

On Mars, scientists will be researching the existence of lightning by measuring fluctuations in the electromagnetic field within the range of audible frequencies. After landing on the planet, it will be necessary to check that the device is working properly and sending signals in the range being measured. Your recordings will thus serve as a means of testing the scientific apparatus as the transmission of data to Earth will enable us to compare the difference between the recording we receive from Mars and the recording sent to us by you.

When will the rocket containing the messages set off for Mars?

In July 2020. The probe will reach Mars in April 2021.

Will you really transmit the sound from Mars?

Yes, we will use it as a trial recording to test the correct functioning of the device after landing. We will then replace the recordings in the memory with scientific data, which we will send from Mars to Earth throughout the entire mission.

How many recordings can I send?

You can only send one recording per e-mail address.

Who will choose my recording and how?

Voting on the website will serve as a recommendation to the Organiser who will judge the entries and choose 11 of the most interesting ones to travel to Mars. Which of these will then be chosen as the overall winner will be decided by further voting on this website.

When will I find out whether my recording was chosen?

If your recording is chosen by the jury, we will notify you by e-mail and issue you with a certificate confirming your participation in the project. If you win in the final round of voting and everything goes according to plan, you will also get your recording which will have travelled twice the distance between the Earth and Mars.

Why can’t I attach a video or a file larger than 10 MB?

The first limiting factor is the limited amount of space reserved in the ExoMars probe’s memory. The second is the slow speed of transmission from Mars to Earth (scientific data will, naturally, be given priority when transmitting to Earth). We accept all audio formats (ideally mp3, mp4, wav). The maximum capacity has been set so that it is possible to send an uncompressed 30-second WAV file of sufficient quality, the size of which is (at 48 000 Hz, 24-bit, Stereo) approx. 8.5 MB.

What will happen on Mars?

After landing on Mars, we will use one of the eleven winning entries, which we will encode on Earth and place in the memory of the electromagnetic wave analyser, as a tester – we will transmit it back to Earth in order to compare it with the original data. This is very important for us as it will enable us to find out whether the memory and other systems of the device are working correctly. During subsequent tests and the work of the device itself, all the recordings in the memory will be replaced by signals recorded on Mars.

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