Russia: Want to send a Christmas card to aliens? Well now you can, thanks to the boffins behind the Glonass-M satellites. The launch of the latest model on 25th December, marks the start of a special extraterrestrial message service.
Glonass-M satellites orbit the Earth at the height of 20 thousand kilometers, and they can stay there forever. Information in the form of texts and drawings for extraterrestrial beings can be placed on aluminium plates, which make so-called cargo models to balance the satellite's center of mass. Official spokeswoman for the association, Elena Matveeva said that the first six informational plates were placed on the Glonass-M 12L satellite, the launching of which was planned to take place on December 25th. The plates contain the information about the enterprise and its founder, academician Mikhail Reshetnev.
We have already started accepting applications for the next Glonass-M spacecraft, which is to be launched in 2005. Anyone can submit their applications free of charge - students, enterprises and so on and so forth,Matveeva specified. First priority will be paid to information about planet Earth, the human civilization, education and modern terrestrial space technologies. The scientific association for applied mechanics does not exclude that extraterrestrial civilizations might be interested in such messages from Earth.
Russia to launch space mail for extraterrestrial civilizations - Pravda, 19th November 2004.