In space no one can hear you anyway

Riley Riley

They’ve fired a lot of silly stuff into space over the years.

Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber, a Buzz Lightyear figurine, Andy Warhol’s drawing of a penis, 25,800 text messages from Aussies, 100,000 Craigslist adverts, including ‘Free kittens to a good home’, and a corned beef sandwich from a Florida deli — and of course Elon Musk’s Tesla, with a dummy at the wheel.

This week in that great tradition Lexus launched not a car, but the sound of a car — the sound of the V8 in its high performance RC F to be precise (obviously a much cheaper option).

It’s part of promotion for Sony Entertainment’s new alien blockbuster Men In Black: International in which the Lexus RC F Coupe scores a guernsey.

With the help of Swinburne University of Technology’s Centre for Astrophysics, Lexus has encoded the unmistakable sound of a V8 into an audio waveform that will be transmitted with the words:

“New Lexus RC F. Earth. We’ve been expecting you.”

The transmission was sent from the largest radio telescope in the southern hemisphere on Friday, May 17 at 7:45pm AEST.

The Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (UTMOST) is located on the outskirts of Canberra.

The telescope is owned and operated by Sydney University and is used to listen to the galaxy, but was modified to allow the innovative message to be beamed directly towards Orion’s Belt — a callback to the original Men In Black film.

The crafting of the intergalactic invitation has been led by Professor Matthew Bailes, with help from Swinburne’s astrophysics team and the on-campus supercomputer, OzStar.

“We’re experts at listening to and decoding the naturally occurring radio transmissions from neutron stars but Lexus wanted us to invert that process,” Professor Bailes said.

“We had to find a solution that was both technically feasible, adhered to radio transmission regulations and didn’t blow up our telescope. In a few thousand years we’ll find out if anyone has heard it.”

Lexus Australia chief exec, Scott Thompson, said the “Intergalactic Test Drive” demonstrates just how far the company will go to anticipate the needs of everyone — and anything else — that’s out there.

“The Lexus brand is proud of anticipating the needs of its customers before they’ve communicated them, and we are excited to take that philosophy beyond Earth to new worlds in an innovative partnership while showcasing one of our most evocative powerplants,” he said.

Full length content from The Intergalactic Test Drive and further details about the concept will be revealed in the lead up to the June 13 release of the movie which stars Australia’s own Chris Hemsworth.


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