NASA invites public to send names, poems and messages to Mars
NASA is inviting public to submit their names, short poems and personal messages on-line for a DVD to be carried aboard a spacecraft that will study the Martian atmosphere.
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, NASA said.
However, only three haikus will be selected. The deadline for all submissions is July 1.
An on-line public vote to determine the top three messages to be placed on the DVD will begin on July 15.
The DVD will be in NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, which is scheduled for launch in November this year.
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 Space Physics (CU/LASP).
"The Going to Mars campaign offers people worldwide a way to make a personal connection 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 programme at CU/LASP.
Participants who submit their names to the 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 Red Planet's atmosphere," Jakosky said.
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 Mars exploration," said David Mitchell, MAVEN project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.