NASA Invites You To Send Your Name To An Asteroid
Do you remember when the ultimate expression of love/desperate birthday gift was paying $29.99 to name a star after someone? Those days are gone, because NASA are now offering you the chance to blast the name of a loved on all the way to an asteroid and back!
In 2016, NASA will be sending a spacecraft to the asteroid Bennu, carrying with it a a microchip crammed full of what is hoped to be thousands of names. Carried out in association with The Planetary Society, 'Messages To Bennu' will allow you to track the spacecraft's progress once it has launched.
The Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-Rex) spacecraft will spend more than 2 years taking samples from Bennu before ejecting the fragments in a capsule bound for Earth. Once the samples have been sent on their way, OSIRIS-Rex and the participant names will remain in a long-term solar orbit, which means when you look up at the night sky, you'll know your name is up there somewhere!
"You'll be part of human-kind's exploration of the solar system - How cool is that?" said Bill Nye, the Director of the Planetary Society.