NASA is opening the door to anyone wanting to go to the moon as part of their next lunar mission—all without requiring years of tests, training, or smoking astroturf. Sadly, only your name will go, which is actually good because the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter—set to select landing and outpost sites for the Constellation program—is not returning. Ever. Just submit your name to the mission site, and it will be added to a chip that will orbit for eternity around the biggest cheese in the Universe, and you will get a certificate from NASA.
And all without having to use your nipples as telescopic antennas to transmit data back to Earth. [NASA]
Send Your Name to the Moon With New Lunar Mission WASHINGTON — NASA invites people of all ages to join the lunar exploration journey with an opportunity to send their names to the moon aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, spacecraft.
The Send Your Name to the Moon Web site enables everyone to participate in the lunar adventure and place their names in orbit around the moon for years to come. Participants can submit their information at http://www.nasa.gov/lro, print a certificate and have their name entered into a database. The database will be placed on a microchip that will be integrated onto the spacecraft. The deadline for submitting names is June 27, 2008.
"Everyone who sends their name to the moon, like I'm doing, becomes part of the next wave of lunar explorers," said Cathy Peddie, deputy project manager for LRO at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Md. "The LRO mission is the first step in NASA's plans to return humans to the moon by 2020, and your name can reach there first. How cool is that?"
The orbiter, comprised of six instruments and one technology demonstration, will provide the most comprehensive data set ever returned from the moon. The mission will focus on the selection of safe landing sites and identification of lunar resources. It also will study how the lunar radiation environment could affect humans.
LRO will also create a comprehensive atlas of the moon's features and resources that will be needed as NASA designs and builds a planned lunar outpost. The mission will support future human exploration while providing a foundation for upcoming science missions. LRO is scheduled for launch in late 2008.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is being built at Goddard. The mission also will be managed at the centre for NASA's Explorations Systems Mission Directorate in Washington.
Send Your Name to the Moon is a collaborative effort among NASA, the Planetary Society in Pasadena, Calif., and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.