NASA hopes to use singing trees to reach another planet
A group of NASA scientists are hoping that singing trees could help humans reach another planet. The collaboration between scientists and artists are aiming to create a partnership lasting 200 years through the Tree of Life project. A description from the Space Song Foundation reads: "[The project] connects Earth and outer space through a song, which is sent via radio waves between an orbiting spacecraft and an unlikely technological component: a set of live trees that have been activated to operate as large, living antenna systems." Digital sensors will be used to pick up changes in the trees' environment, while custom software will then translate the data points into sonic frequencies which beam to a small spacecraft in low-Earth orbit. These will then beam back data about its own operations, which the "tune, the volume and the actual sound of the song" changing along with light, water and temperature around the trees. The non-profit's president Julia Christensen - who is chair of the studio art program at Oberlin College - added: "In the short term, we hear shifts in the song as day turns to night, as clouds pass over the tree, as seasons change, etc. "But over the very long term - decades or centuries - we will hear major global shifts in climate and other changes on our planet." The project initially began as part of a plan to make a future spacecraft to reach Proxima B, which is an exoplanet 4.2 lightyears away. As reported by CNET, the spacecraft hasn't been built yet with Steve Matousek - advanced concept manager at NASA JPL's Innovation Lab - revealing the team are looking to test prototypes in the next year. He added: "The design has no moving parts, and the electronics are on only 1% of the time. "Imagine if your car, or your computer, or your phone, needed to last 200 years. The simpler the spacecraft, the better."