When NASA’s Dawn spacecraft launches next June to visit the asteroid belt, it will carry aboard two vital pieces of information: my name, and the name of our dog. Some 360,000 people submitted their names on NASA’s web site; a chip is now being produced with everyone’s names to be placed aboard the spacecraft.
If you didn’t get a chance to submit your own name for this one, don’t worry: there are a couple more oppotunities available on other missions. As David Biello reports on Scientific American’s blog, Carl Sagan’s Planetary Society has forms on their web site where you can submit the information. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is readying SELENE, a lunar orbiter with a one-year planned mission. You may submit your name and an optional message (limit 60 characters total); the deadline is 31 January 2007.
Later next year (August 2007), NASA’s Phoenix spacecraft will launch; it will land on Mars the following May. It will carry a special DVD with messages and Mars-related artistic works as well as the names of members of the public. You may submit your name by 01 February 2007.
Now I just have to think of a the right thing to say. Any ideas?