Galactic Correspondence

Series of objects to stay in touch with a loved one living on Mars.

In the past Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus crossed oceans to distant lands, in the future we will travel through space to reach Mars. In the same way that men once walked on the moon, we too will set foot on Mars in the near future. This may seem futuristic, however it is highly likely that mankind will colonise Mars for the first time within the next ten to fifteen years. SpaceX founder Elon Musk states that he wants to take the first people to Mars in 2024 and the American government and NASA hope to do the same around 2030. The Red Planet is relatively similar to Earth, making it very suitable for new settlement by humans.

When someone you love were to take a single or extended return journey to Mars (which, due to the alignment of the planets, lasts at least 26 months), it would be nice to be able to catch a glimpse of this personís life. However, because of some space and planetary phenomena this is not without difficulty, due to these phenomena your life will not be in synch with that of your friend on Mars. This series of objects provides you insight into these phenomena and make them more tangible, thereby creating a sense of connection to the other person.

Due to the enormous distance between Mars and Earth a message will take 14 to 24 minutes to arrive on the other planet - depending on the alignment of the two planets - making it impossible to video chat. The device helps you to communicate intergalactically. Walk towards the device for it to record your video message, making it turn towards you. Step backwards to signal the end and wait while it turns back - this is time that is necessary to send your message and receive an answer. Your message is received when the light is completely dimmed, when it is lit up again you can enjoy your answer. Simply step forwards again to reply.

A day lasts 24 hours. A sol, a martian day, lasts 39 minutes and 35.244 seconds longer. Night and day on the planets will hardly ever run parallel, as they continuously shift relative to each other. The lamp tells you whether it is night, sunrise, day or sunset on the other planet. The copper lamp represents the red planet Mars, the blue lamp represents our blue planet Earth. Light on indicates that it is day, light off signifies night.

An earthly year lasts 365 or 366 days. A martian year lasts 668 or 669 sols. Keeping track of the days on the other planet is challenging, let alone remembering anniversaries. The calendar tool makes this less troublesome. There are two strokes of fabric on this calendar; the left one represents Earth, the right one represents Mars. Because of the leap years the Earth stroke contains four years and the Mars stroke contains two years. At the beginning of a day the spool with the earthly calendar will spin just a little, making the calendar shift behind the magnifying glass. The same thing applies for the martian spool at the beginning of a sol.