After Webex joined NASA’s Artemis I mission as part of the Callisto technology demonstration, we decided we didn’t want to journey to the Moon alone.
Space exploration impacts all of humanity and as such, it only felt right to invite members of the broader global community to join us and help test deep space communication.
In collaboration with actor and activist George Takei (aka Sulu from the beloved Star Trek universe), we asked people around world to submit their wishes for humanity so we could broadcast two winning messages to the Orion spacecraft from NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston, using Webex video conferencing technology.
We were overwhelmed by all your amazing responses. They were thought provoking, heartwarming, inspiring, and showed how many people across the globe are committed to kindness and collaboration.
While we’ve chosen two grand prize winners to join us at Mission Control via Webex and have their messages sent to the Orion spacecraft, we also wanted to share some of our other favorite messages with the world.
Watch the video below to hear the messages and Takei’s reflections on the themes that emerged from all the submissions we received.
Two consistent themes leapt out as we listened to all the entries.
Many people touched on the importance of caring for our home planet.
“We are all one big family here on Mothership Earth,” one person shared. “Let us take better care of her and each other.”
Others focused on our relationships with our fellow humans, talking about peace, unity, and the importance of being kind.
They emphasized sharing resources and seeing our similarities more than our differences.
As one participant put it: “Us versus them is an illusion. We are one people and we are traveling together on this blue marble through the darkness of space.”
When we broadcast the two messages we’ve chosen into deep space on December 8 as part of the Callisto technology demonstration, we’ll be doing so with custom Webex video conferencing technology, specially built for deep space communication.
As you might imagine, communicating in space is a major challenge. We’ll be video conferencing with a spacecraft that’s over 240,000 miles away—1,000 times farther than the International Space Station.
To make this communication possible, Webex engineers worked with Lockheed Martin to help develop a custom version of Webex. This first-of-its-kind solution is designed to interface with NASA’s Deep Space Network and provide a realistic video experience while navigating the extremes of distance, atmosphere, and space noise. It brings modern collaboration capabilities to deep space communication.
Learn more about Webex’s role in NASA’s first Artemis mission, enabling us to leave Earth, without leaving home behind.
The Artemis I mission launched on November 16, kicking off a nearly 26-day journey that will take it beyond the Moon. This uncrewed mission represents the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems, including the new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft.
We’re thrilled to participate in the Callisto technology demonstration onboard Orion and this critical step to test technologies that’ll be used for future Artemis missions, helping keep astronauts connected and emotionally healthy.
“As a species, we thrive on connection,” Takei said. “Innovations that keep us connected across space and time are essential for our collective instinct to explore and dream.”
Check back after December 8 or follow Webex on Twitter to see the two winning messages broadcast from NASA’s Mission Control Center to the Orion spacecraft via Webex.
* This first image in this post depicts the Orion spacecraft, the Earth, and the Moon on Day 13 of the Artemis I flight (Photo Credit: NASA).