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"The Day the Earth Stood Still" is Beamed Into Space. Seriously.

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn December 10, 2008 at 5:49AM

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" is Beamed Into Space. Seriously.


Not since Voyager carried whale sounds to the outer reaches of the solar system has a mainstream effort been made to broadcast Earth culture to the Great Beyond. Words fail me on this one, so just check out the press release below. No, this isn't an Onion fish story — so what I really want to know is, why not send the original film? Well, obviously we want Alpha Centaurions to know that our special effects look way cooler now. I guess. Anyhow:


A First in Motion Picture History

LOS ANGELES, California, EARTH - (Tuesday, December 9) – Twentieth Century Fox makes history by transmitting the first motion picture in to deep space, making THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL the world’s first galactic motion picture release. The first deliberate deep space transmission of this highly anticipated science fiction thriller will begin this Friday, December 12, 2008, to coincide with the film’s opening day on Planet Earth. If any civilizations are currently orbiting Alpha Centauri, they will be able to receive and view the film approximately four years from now in the year 2012.

In a time when global movie launches are now commonplace, Fox is raising
the bar by spearheading, with Deep Space Communications Network located
at Cape Canaveral, the ultimate in “wide release” platforms. As millions of
Earthbound movie fans get their first look at THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD
STILL, starring Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly, the film will be zipping
through space at 186,000 miles per second to a heretofore untapped possible
consumer base orbiting the three star system, Alpha Centauri.

Industry watchers and film historians will note that due to the distance between
our solar system and the Alpha Centauri system, it will take over eight years
(accounting for a roundtrip communication) to receive any Alpha Centauri reviews.
The transmission is not a single beam aimed at just the Alpha Centauri system,
but can be received by any advanced technologically capable civilization along
the way to Alpha Centauri, and beyond.

Prior to its arrival at Alpha Centauri, the transmission of THE DAY THE EARTH
STOOD STILL can be intercepted and viewed at various points in our own solar
system (Distance from Earth – at the speed of light – and transmission time,
as follows):
Moon: 0.000000038, 1.1991888 seconds
Sun: 0.000016, 8.41536 minutes
Mercury: 0.0000095, 4.99662 minutes
Venus: 0.00000476, 2.5035696 minutes
Mars: 0.0000076, 3.997296 minutes
Jupiter: 0.0000666, 35.028936 minutes
Saturn: 0.000135, 1.18341 hours
Uranus: 0.000285, 2.49831 hours
Neptune: 0.00046, 4.03236 hours
Pluto: 0.0006183, 5.4200178 hours

“We are thrilled about beaming this film into space. This will be our first full length movie transmission. And what could be more relevant to send into Deep Space than a movie about the Earth’s acceptance of visitors from outer space,” commented Jim Lewis, Managing Director, Deep Space Communications Network

Deep Space Communications Network is a private organization located east of
Orlando. DSCN was formed specifically to communicate with outerspace
by a group of broadcast engineers and communications experts who regularly
transmit from the space center.

The beam transmitting THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is by redundant
high-powered klystron amplifiers connected by a traveling waveguide to a five meter parabolic dish antenna.