TESLA TO TALK TO MARS.
Mr. Tesla announces that, with the co-operation of power-producing companies at Niagara Falls, he is preparing to hail Mars with Niagara's voice. A way has been found at last, it is asserted, for transmitting a wireless message across the gulf which separates this earth from Mars. Once that has been accomplished, and Mars — which is considerably older and supposedly more advanced than us — has acknowledged the receipt of our signal, and sent back flash for flash, it will remain to devise an interplanetary code through the medium of which the scientists of this world and of Mars will be able to understand what each is saying to the other.
Mr. Tesla has been quietly working for several years on a wireless power plant capable of transmitting 10,000 H.P. to any part of the world, or to any of our neighbouring planets, for that matter. The mere matter of distance between despatching and receiving points is absolutely no object whatsoever. Wireless power, Mr. Tesla says, may be sent one million or more miles just as easily as one mile.
Several of the electric-power companies with immense generating plants at Niagara Falls have agreed to co-operate with Mr. Tesla in an effort to reach Mars by wireless.
These Niagara power plants, Mr. Tesla declares, are now capable of producing electrical vibrations of such intensity that, if measured according to ordinary standards, the rate at which their energy is delivered could readily be advanced to a billion horse-power. But no such performance is necessary to produce strong electrical impulses on Mars. Mr. Tesla has estimated that a rate of a few hundred million horse-power is quite sufficient to establish wireless communication with that planet.
Mr. Tesla's wireless plant, which he had already equipped at Wardenclyffe, L.I., for the sending of long-distance electric waves is to be utilised.
Mr. Tesla seems to believe that Mars is already signalling us:
"The astonishing evidences furnished by Lowell are not only indicative of organic life, but they make it appear very probable that Mars is still populated, and, furthermore, its inhabitants are highly-developed, intelligent beings."
"Is there any proof of such existence?"
"I answer, emphatically, yes, prompted both by instinct, which has never yet deceived me, and observation. I refer to the strange electrical disturbances, the discovery of which I announced six years ago. At that time I was only certain that they were of planetary origin. Now, after mature thought and study, I have come to the positive conclusion that they must have emanated from Mars.
"Such colossal transformation as is observable on the face of Mars could not have been wrought except by beings ahead of us in development.
"What wonder if they are signalling to us? We are sufficiently advanced in electrical science to now that their task is much easier than ours. The question is, Can we transmit electrical energy to that immense distance? This I think myself competent to answer in the affirmative."
Originally published in "English Mechanic and World of Science" (6 December 1907).
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