NASA Wants Your Name To Hitch A Ride On Its Next Mission To Jupiter
By Nicole Rodrigues, 05 Jun 2023
Journeying into space is a mighty feat that not many will ever be able to accomplish. But perhaps instead of actually going into the galaxy, how about sending your name in your place?
NASA is inviting people worldwide to sign up to put their names into a ‘Message in a Bottle’. The campaign will engrave names alongside a poem, written by American poet Laureate Ada Limón, for the journey to Jupiter’s moon Europa. Limón was invited to visit the JPL center to see the spacecraft for herself before penning the piece, entitled In Praise of Mystery: A Poem for Europa.
The microchip will ride aboard the Europa Clipper spacecraft, which will launch on October 2024 and reach the celestial body on April 2030. NASA clarifies that the mission’s purpose is not to look for life on Europa but to see if the oceans beneath its icy crust could sustain it. Clipper will accomplish 50 flybys of the moon at a low altitude of 16 miles above its surface.
U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón’s poem celebrates water—what connects the two ocean worlds @EuropaClipper travels between.— NASA (@NASA) June 2, 2023
Make your special connection to Europa & #SendYourName aboard our spacecraft on this 1.8 billion-mile journey to Jupiter’s moon: https://t.co/PT7fCIfkZy pic.twitter.com/NF7OyBY6KI
This isn’t the first time NASA has allowed people to ship a piece of themselves into the galaxy. It did the same with the recent Artemis 1 trip to the moon and several other Mars voyages. On NASA’s Voyagers’ Golden Record, the space exploration company sent sounds and images that represented life on Earth up into the cosmos.
Space enthusiasts will have until 11:59 pm EST on Dec 31, 2023, to submit their names if they wish to participate in the mission. 108,713 people have already signed up to send a small part of themselves to Jupiter. If you’re interested, you can do so here.
[via PC Mag and SciTechDaily, cover image via NASA]
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