Earthlings who dream of reaching out and touching extraterrestrial beings can thrust their voice and image billions of miles into space by making a special long-distance call.

By using "space phones" set up Thursday through Saturday in the AT&T building's atrium, the public will have a chance to communicate with someone who could hear their voice long after they're dead, said AT&T spokesman Brian Monahan.About 30 hours of recorded audio-visual messages will be beamed to outer space by the telephone company's satellite dishes from Thanksgiving to New Year's during the early morning hours when they aren't being used for business.

Monahan said AT&T has 30-meter dishes across the country aimed at communications satellites, and one or two would be realigned to beam the radio waves.

"They're very powerful," he said. "We're gonna crank these up."

The messages will travel at the speed of light in a straight line until they run into something, Monahan said.