Fake alien message sent to Earth to prepare us for first contact

The Allen Telescope Array

SETI’s Allen Telescope Array in California has picked up a message sent back from a spacecraft orbiting Mars

Seth Shostak/SETI Institute

A message has been sent from a spacecraft orbiting Mars back to Earth, to simulate potential communication from an advanced alien civilisation.

On 24 May, a European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft at Mars, the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), was used to send a small coded message a few kilobytes in size to our planet. Picked up by radio receivers on Earth, groups of astronomers and enthusiasts then set to work decoding it, a …

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