NASA invites public to send names and messages to Mars

May 02, 2013

NASA is inviting members of the public to submit their names and a personal message online for a DVD to be carried aboard a spacecraft that will study the Martian upper atmosphere.

The DVD will be in NASA's and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, which is scheduled for launch in November. The DVD is part of the mission's Going to Mars Campaign coordinated at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and (CU/LASP).

The DVD will carry every name submitted. The public also is encouraged to submit a message in the form of a three-line poem, or haiku. However, only three haikus will be selected. The deadline for all submissions is July 1. An online to determine the top three messages to be placed on the DVD will begin July 15.

"The Going to Mars campaign offers people worldwide a way to make a to space, space exploration, and science in general, and share in our excitement about the MAVEN mission," said Stephanie Renfrow, lead for the MAVEN Education and Public Outreach program at CU/LASP.

Participants who submit their names to the Going to Mars campaign will be able to print a certificate of appreciation to document their involvement with the MAVEN mission.

"This new campaign is a great opportunity to reach the next generation of explorers and excite them about science, technology, engineering and math," said Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator from CU/LASP. "I look forward to sharing our science with the worldwide community as MAVEN begins to piece together what happened to the 's atmosphere."

MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. The spacecraft will investigate how the loss of Mars' atmosphere to space determined the history of water on the surface.

"This mission will continue NASA's rich history of inspiring and engaging the public in spaceflight in ongoing ," said David Mitchell, MAVEN project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

MAVEN's principal investigator is based at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. The university will provide science operations, science instruments and lead Education and Public Outreach. Goddard manages the project and provides two of the science instruments for the mission. Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colo., built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations. The University of California at Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory provides for the mission. 's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., provides navigation support, the Deep Space Network and the Electra telecommunications relay hardware and operations.

Explore further: Water fleas prepared for trip to space

More information: To participate in the Going to Mars campaign, visit: lasp.colorado.edu/maven/goingtomars
For more information on MAVEN, visit: www.nasa.gov/maven

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User comments : 1

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geokstr
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2013
Hey, there's a great way to raise funding for NASA's secondary missions, like space exploration and astronomy, since most of the budget is going to the primary missions of building Muslim self-esteem and supporting AGW proponents' PR efforts.

NASA can sell the right to name a rock for the rovers to drill into, instead of the dumb names that are being assigned currently. They can also sell the rights to name the little craters and geological formations that the rovers encounter, or any that don't have names yet that can be observed from the Mars satellites.

You'd get a certificate that would declare this is now the official name of whatever object you choose. Corporations could name things after themselves or their products.

There's a gold mine here.

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