Erik Finman made headlines earlier this summer for becoming a bitcoin millionaire at the tender age of 18. He now tells TechCrunch he’s working on a project with NASA to launch a mini satellite into space with the recordings of regular folks, tech leaders and top artists — including pop idol Taylor Swift.
The launch is in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Carl Sagan’s Golden Record sent onboard Voyager in 1977. Sagan is a personal hero of Finman’s and he says he wanted to do something akin to the Golden Record to remind us about this time in world history.
“Since almost everyone has a camera and an internet connection, we can now represent the world in a whole new way and showcase how the United States has changed since 40 years ago.” Finman said.
Finman wanted to get involved in space travel ever since he saw Elon Musk launch his reusable rockets. But his interest in the stars goes far back into his family’s history. Finman’s mother was involved in the NASA space program in the 80’s and he says she was set to go as part of the crew on the fated spaceship Challenger. However, she ended up finding out she was pregnant with Finman’s oldest brother and unable to go.
Though Challenger was a serious tragedy, his mother remained involved in the space program for many years. Her love for the stars instilled in him a desire to get involved himself. So, earlier this year, he submitted for and won a NASA grant enabling him to organize the endeavor, called Project DaVinci.
The government space program will handle the costs of the launch and provide materials for the satellite project. Meanwhile, Finman will gather the materials through a website, launching today, and has already employed a team of high school students from his hometown of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and engineers in Los Angeles and Scotland to build the mini satellite.
Other artists and tech leaders already onboard include “Vineographer” Logan Paul, XPRIZE’s Peter Diamandis, renowned aerospace engineer Burt Rutan and YouTube personality Casey Neistat.
Swift’s album ‘1989’ will head up into the stars, along with media from the previously listed participants and what he hopes will be something submitted from all 196 countries around the globe.
NASA has not yet set a date for the launch, but it should be sometime in Q1 of 2018, according to Finman. Those interested in submitting something in hopes it goes into space can do so by heading over to Finman’s website and uploading a video, image or sound for free.