Pixels, Virtual Reality, and Interstellar Communications


Pixels is the new Happy Madison film that I happened to catch with Andrew a few days ago on a free screening.

Grumbling about the film and it’s shortcomings aside; early in the film, there is a scene where a time capsule of the 1980’s( a VHS no less) is sent into space. It reminds me of all of the REAL stuff that our planet has tossed out into space. You can see a small list of the space stuff here.

Amongst that stuff is the iconic Voyager-1 Golden disc.


There Is A Rapping Alien In Space Somewhere With This Around It's Neck.
There Is A Rapping Alien In Space Somewhere With This Around It’s Neck.



The disc was a collection of pictures, sounds, songs, and multi-lingual recordings selected by Spaceman Carl Sagan and NASA to send into space to hopefully find intelligent life and create a form of base communication.

But think about that, we sent physical media into space in hopes of an alien, with a physical body and fingers, could figure out how to play it. I think it’s cool, but also backwards.

Assuming our Extraterrestrial buddies even have fingers, why would they have tech equivalent to stuff on the Nostromo?

Can I Play Snake Without Destroying The Navigation System?
Can I Play Snake Without Destroying The Navigation System?

Now, we do have radio wave communications established to outrace the Voyager satellite, but they eventually start to degrade after a distance of 50 Light Years. Luckily, there are still around 100 planets that are similar enough to earth that can listen to these messages which hopefully get more complex than the Arecibo message sent back in 1974.

What I am getting at is this?

We should be actively exploring space, not with random crap and touch tones, but WITH OUR EYES.


Adrift is a VR game where you must survive in zero-gravity. I actually got to playtest a demo at VRLA a few months back and in my opinion; it’s much better than the film Gravity (Sorry Chivo, I still love you man).

Adrift is an example of how we can use entertainment tools in the name of lovely lady science! (or sexy dude science, or sexually stimulating gender-fliud science….. I really don’t know what you kids are into now-a-days) It’s a video game and requires a console and the VR headset, but there are also very interesting VR headsets that are accessible with just a smartphone.

Samsung released a live demo in March of this year incorporating a LIVE-Feed into their proprietary Gear VR.


Not only is VR viable on smartphones and game consoles, content is being generated at a pretty awesome pace.

Live-Stream VR sites seem to be popping up like fruit flies to a over-ripe banana. (I haven’t had a proper dinner yet). No, seriously, my Google search found numerous sites popping up to provide you with the best in 360* entertainment.


Woohoo! Stuff!
Woohoo! Stuff!

VR, bluetooth, internet, and ETC are all by-products of our awesome wireless communication network here on earth, but why can’t it be applied to Space?

The question isn’t really about why or why not. It’s based on what we have already established.

NASA has been able to send out radio signals (which can travel the same length as the speed of light), but the distances necessary for data communication are stretched thin. It takes a long-ass time. Not only that, but radio can only have a limit of about 1 kilobit per second (New Horizons to Earth).

The solution, like always. Is LAZERS! (pew pew!)

The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration was an amazing application of the power of lasers where a satellite about the distance of the moon was able to pull off a major data transfer in broad daylight (before NASA forced it to commit robot-Harakiri).

The distance is small, in comparison to that of Pluto, but i would bet that within the next 100 years, there will be larger initiative to send multiple satellites into space to ping signals back and forth across our galaxy. Not only would there be wireless communications, but a few of those 360 cameras as well in order for people to explore space from the comforts of their living rooms. (Pending no major wars or Space Wars)

The possibility of setting up a wireless network in space is within reach.


"Please Send MOAR Fish"  -LAZER SHARK
“Please Send MOAR Fish”

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