MIT & Interstellar Foundation Collaboration

Nick Searra
June 6, 2023

We are thrilled to share with you some exciting news about our collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the world’s leading institutions of science and technology.

Our mission at the Interstellar Foundation is to create and send messages to the future and beyond, in hopes of preserving and sharing the knowledge and culture of humanity and Earth. We believe that communication is a fundamental aspect of life, and that by sending messages, we can connect with ourselves, our descendants, and possibly other forms of intelligence. To achieve this ambitious goal, we need to overcome many challenges and questions, such as how to design a message that can be understood by anyone, anywhere, anytime, without any prior context or assumptions. How do we convey who we are, what we know, and what we value? How do we spark curiosity and interest in the receiver? How do we make our message engaging and meaningful? To help us answer these questions, we have partnered with MIT on various aspects of message design. MIT is a renowned institution that fosters innovation, creativity, and excellence in various fields of study. We are honored and grateful to work with them on this project.

Game Design Course

One of the components of our collaboration is a game design course offered by the MIT Game Lab, a research and development lab that explores the potential of games as a medium for education, research, and social change. The course uses our project as a way to teach students how to create context and meaning in games, especially at the beginning. The course also aims to provide feedback and ideas to us on how to use games as a medium to communicate in a message.

The idea of using games as a communication tool was originally suggested by Lisa Randall, a renowned theoretical physicist and Interstellar Foundation advisor. Games can offer multiple advantages, such as interactivity, engagement, feedback, and learning, in conveying complex and abstract concepts. We recently visited MIT and gave a presentation to some of the game design students. We were impressed by their talent and enthusiasm, students asked insightful questions and shared interesting ideas. We look forward to seeing what they will create.


Another component of our collaboration is a hackathon planned for the fall of 2023. It will be a two-day event where MIT students, faculty, and the public will be invited to solve various problems related to message design. The problems will focus on the beginning of the message, such as how to create a cover and how to establish context and common ground with a potential receiver. The receiver could be a future human species, a future Earth species that evolves after us, or an extraterrestrial intelligence. The challenge is to create a message that can be understood without any prior knowledge or assumptions. We are excited to see what solutions will emerge from this event. We hope that it will be a fun and stimulating experience for everyone involved. We also hope that it will generate more awareness and interest in our project among the public.

Puzzle Challenge

The third component of our collaboration is a puzzle challenge designed by some of the MIT faculty. It will be included in the message that we will send to the Moon in 2024. The puzzle will be open to the public to try and solve and it will test their logical and creative thinking skills. The puzzle will be part of our Moon mission, which aims to send a time capsule containing messages from people around the world to the lunar surface. The time capsule will also contain scientific and cultural information about Earth and humanity. We think that the puzzle will add an element of fun and mystery to our message and serve as a way to measure the difficulty and effectiveness of our message design.

We are very happy and proud of our collaboration with MIT and we think that it will enrich our project and help us create better messages for the future and beyond. Interstellar Foundation would like to thank the MIT community for their support and cooperation and showing great interest and passion for our project.

Let us invite you to join us in this journey of creating messages for the future and stay tuned for more updates on our collaboration and other projects.

Nick Searra