This month, NASA has been busy putting finishing touches on their time capsule set to launch in our solar system this fall on the Lucy spacecraft. This time capsule is intended for future human civilizations to discover, whereas others have been geared for reaching possible other beings living in interstellar space, in other words, aliens. The Lucy spacecraft, named after the Lucy hominid fossil that help scientists better understand human evolution, is outfitted with a plague with messages from Nobel Laureates, musicians, scientists, writers, poets and civil rights leaders.
The Lucy website details the complete list of time capsule messages that center on thoughts of love, space, eternity and cultural highlights. Science Journalist Dava Sobel is quoted on the plaque writing, "We, the inquisitive people of Earth, sent this robot spacecraft to explore the pristine small bodies orbiting near the largest planet in our solar system. We sought to trace our own origins as far back as evidence allowed. Even as we looked to the ancient past, we thought ahead to the day you might recover this relic of our science."
According to NASA, the Lucy time capsule will stay within our solar system for hundreds of thousands of years, ping-ponging between a specific group of asteroids that orbit the Sun and Earth. The idea is to float the craft in space until humans on Earth can retrieve it and hopefully interpret the messages left for them. NASA expects to launch the capsule on October 16, 2021.