U-M bicentennial to reach space with time capsule


In honor of the University of Michigan’s bicentennial, a group of U-M students have embarked on a mission to send a time capsule into space for 100 years.

Titled the Michigan Bicentennial Archive, or M-BARC, the team plans to launch a small time capsule containing photos and a DNA experiment encoded with U-M’s mission statement.

The capsule will also include scores of interviews with students, faculty, staff and alumni regarding current events and their thoughts on what the university will be like a hundred years from now.

“It’s a way to celebrate the technological advancement of the university to show where we are in space research,” U-M alumna and project lead Hashmita Koka said. “It’s a way to celebrate the university’s bicentennial in a completely new way.”

After building the time capsule, Koka said the team hopes to launch two versions of the device next year. The first copy will be launched on a student-created, small satellite called a CubeSat, which will last for about 10 to 15 years.

The team will then send a second version of its time capsule on a commercial satellite, which is expected to stay in space for 100 years.

During the bicentennial’s Fall Festival, the team will unveil its time capsule and answer questions about the project. This discussion will take place from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Friday at the Stamps Auditorium, 1226 Murfin Ave.

The hope, Koka said, is that the M-BARC mission does not stop once the time capsule is launched into space. She said the team plans to place a copy of its work in the Bentley Historical Library so a future generation of budding U-M scientists can bring the time capsule home.

“Hopefully in 100 years, we’ll have a team of students at the University of Michigan design a mission to retrieve it,” she said.


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