Dalkeith Primary School students transmit ‘golden record’ into space

Student Matthew Maliszewski preparing the countdown to release his signal to Proxima Centauri b.
Student Matthew Maliszewski preparing the countdown to release his signal to Proxima Centauri b.

DALKEITH Primary School students transmitted a ‘golden record’ into space on Tuesday towards Earth’s closest habitable planet, Proxima Centauri b.

The Year Five and Six students’ transmission, filled with illustrations, photos and messages, was sent from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) deep space antenna at New Norcia.

International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) senior researcher Kevin Vinsen, who helped the students devise their messages, said the idea of a ‘golden record’ was inspired by the Voyager space missions.

“In 1977, NASA sent two gold-dipped records into space on board the Voyager spacecraft,” he said.

“These two records are currently hurtling away from the solar system, ready to be discovered by any intelligent extra-terrestrial life or future humans who might come across them.”

Students Hector Mangharam and Angus Marshall watching the transmission of the signals to Proxima Centauri b.

Mr Vinsen said the photos and illustrations depicted life from the students’ point of view.

“They’ve focused on how things have changed on Earth since the Voyager golden records, and what’s important to Generation Z,” he said.

Mr Vinsen said the transmission was aimed at Proxima Centauri b, the closest habitable planet to Earth.

“By the time we get a reply, assuming we get one, the students will be at university,” he said.