NASA wants you to put your name on one of their space probes. No, I’m serious.
NASA and The Planetary Society are partnering together to conduct the “Messages To Bennu” program. Announced on January 15th, 2014, the public can submit their names by September 30th to appear twice on the OSIRIS-REx probe, planned for launch in 2016.
The probe will travel to the asteroid 101955 Bennu, and will collect a sample of the asteroid and a part of it will bring this sample back to Earth. The main craft, which, after the sample collection will enter solar orbit, will have one of the microchips with the names on it. The other microchip will be on the collection craft, and will be back to Earth around 2023. So, your names will go to space, and if other NASA “Name To Space” programs have anything to say about it, the chip on the return probe may end up in a museum!
In a statement, Dante Lauretta, an official working on the OSIRIS-REx program at the University of Arizona, said, “We are thrilled to share the OSIRIS-REx adventure with people across the Earth, to Bennu and back.”
Other major supporters of this, including someone who made me have a side interest in science, Bill Nye, said, “You will be part of humankind’s exploration of the solar system — how cool is that?”
To send your name to space and back, go to The Planetary Society’s Messages To Bennu Page. I sent my name in and it will be on the space probe, and I hope you will too!