Imagine it could be centuries from now, on the planet Mars, when a man, or a woman, or perhaps a child, will come across this small disk. This person may be encased in an elaborate space suit, or perhaps breathing freely in the newly oxygenated atmosphere of the former Red Planet. The surrounding landscape might be that of a harsh red desert, as it is today, or it might be green rolling hills, the result of intense terra-forming. We do not know. All we know is that when this future Martian picks up this tame-looking disk, he or she will hold in their hands a message from our world, addressed to theirs.
The disk will be part of a relic of an ancient unmanned spacecraft named Phoenix, which landed on the planet in 2008. Possibly preserved as a historic memento, perhaps long abandoned and forgotten, the Phoenix will have kept its secret. And now, at last, its time had come and its message revealed. The ancient digital format of the small disk may pose a problem, but surely not an insurmountable one for these technologically advanced pioneers. Soon the images will appear on their screens, bearing greetings from visionaries of a distant time, on a distant world.
“Visions of Mars” is a message from our world to future human inhabitants on Mars, which will launch on its way to the Red Planet in 2007 aboard the spacecraft Phoenix. Along with personal messages from leading space visionaries of our time, the message will include a priceless collection of Mars literature and art, and a list of hundreds of thousands of names of space enthusiasts from around the world. The entire collection will be encoded on a mini-DVD provided by The Planetary Society, which will be affixed to the spacecraft.