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In recent years, the likes of SpaceX and Virgin Galactic have challenged the capabilities of space exploration, and 2022 promised to be the greatest year yet. On the surface, radio and space might not sound like an obvious match. But as one national station has just proved, they can sometimes combine to achieve record breaking success.
Last Monday, Fun Kids Radio – a national children’s and pop digital radio station – broke a Guinness World Record when it beamed the first radio programme into deep space.
Deep space exploration is described as the branch of astronomy, astronautics and space technology that’s involved with exploring the distant regions of outer space.
The idea which was coined “Mission Transmission” was launched into the galaxy from the Royal Observatory, in Greenwich London.
Tim Peake – formerly a crew member on the International Space Station – attended the event, which was simultaneously broadcast live across the UK.
Prior to its launch, the radio station had been asking children to send in their submissions to be included within the programme.
Children were asked to answer the following questions in their own words:
- Who are you?
- Who or what do you love?
- What would you like to do when you’re older?
- Do you have any questions for aliens?
In the end, “hundreds” from the 2,500 submissions were selected to be part of the 28-minute-long programme.
Extracts of interviews with experts talking about what life on Earth – and elsewhere in the universe – might be like were also included in the final recording.
Adam Stoner, a producer from the station, came up with the idea after being inspired by the advancement of space exploration in the past 12 months.
He told Express.co.uk: “We’re [Fun Kids Radio] so thrilled with how Mission Transmission went. It’s something we’re all very proud of.
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“So much work went into Mission Transmission and it’s nice to have a token to remember it by.”
The transmission was beamed to 10,000 of the Earth’s closest stars, and could theoretically travel forever once it left Earth.
How was the programme sent into space?
Experts from the Royal Observatory used – what’s known as – a ‘parabolic radio transmitter’ to send the programme on its way.
The broadcast was sent as a radio signal – a type of light wave – capable of travelling up to 299,792,458 metres per second – the speed of light.
Within 1.3 seconds, the audio passed the moon. The same journey was completed by the Apollo 11 spacecraft in 76 hours.
Meanwhile, it’s estimated that it will take 2.5 million years for the signal to exit the Milky Way and reach the next galaxy.
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