You can have your name engraved onto a spacecraft headed to the asteroid belt. NASA is inviting people around the world to submit their names to be etched on a microchip aboard the Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft headed to the asteroid Bennu in 2016.
The “Messages to Bennu!” microchip will travel to the asteroid aboard NASA’s spacecraft.
The robotic mission will spend more than two years at the 1,760-foot (500-meter)-wide asteroid. The spacecraft will collect a sample of Bennu’s surface and return it to Earth in a sample return capsule.
If you would like to have your name travel to space by participating in “Messages to Bennu!” you should submit their name online no later than Sept. 30 here.
After you submit your name, you will be able to download and print a certificate documenting your participation in the OSIRIS-REx mission. If you “follow” or “like” the mission on Facebook you will receive updates on the location of your name in space from launch time until the asteroid samples return to Earth in 2023, along with mission progress and late-breaking news through regular status updates.
The OSIRIS-REx mission’s goal is to address basic questions about the composition of the very early solar system, and aid efforts to identify the population of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects, as well as those suitable for asteroid exploration missions.
It will also collect a minimum of 2 ounces (60 grams) of surface material and return it to Earth. After that the spacecraft will be placed into a long-term solar orbit around the sun, along with the microchip and every name on it.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +