NASA calls on the public to send their names on its Europa Clipper mission

A bottle in front of Europa and Mars that has a piece of paper within it reading Your name here

Every now and again, NASA gets ready to launch a major mission into space and sometimes offers the public a chance to get their name sent into space. The organization has opened up another opportunity such as this. You now have the opportunity to send your name on NASA's upcoming Europa Clipper mission, which is set to land on Jupiter's second Galilean moon, Europa, in 2030.

People’s names will accompany a poem called “In Praise of Mystery: A Poem for Europa” by US Poet Laureate Ada Limón. They will be stencilled onto a microchip and head off on the journey in October 2024. If you’re interested in including your name, you must add it to NASA’s website by December 31.

Since the programme was announced on the evening of June 1, 2,767 people have added their names. The majority of these submissions are from the United States but names from all the continents have started coming in too. Within the United States, most signatures have come from California, Texas, Florida, and New York.

"'Message in a Bottle' is the perfect convergence of science, art, and technology, and we are excited to share with the world the opportunity to be a part of Europa Clipper's journey," said Nicola Fox, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

"I just love the thought that our names will be travelling across our solar system aboard the radiation-tolerant spacecraft that seeks to unlock the secrets of Jupiter's frozen moon."

As mentioned, NASA has held similar programmes for its Artemis I mission to the moon and for several missions to Mars. While anyone is free to add their name, NASA will definitely be hoping that it piques the interest of children who may be more interested to pursue a job in the sciences as a result.

In addition to adding your name, the website provides a world map that displays the locations where signatures are being added from. You can also find a live feed of the Clipper clean room to see work going on.

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