Another (Better) Opportunity to Send Your Name to Space

It’s a great idea, so all the missions might as well join in. Earlier today, Ian reported on how the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission is offering the chance for the public to ‘ride along’ to the moon by sending their names to be added to a computer chip which will be embedded on the spacecraft. Well, not to be outdone, the upcoming Kepler mission that will search for Earth-sized exoplanets is offering the same chance. But this is no sluff opportunity where you just fill in your name and you’re done: you’ve got to work a little and be creative! The Kepler folks would like you to also state in 100 words or less why you think the Kepler mission is important. I think that’s a great idea, and I’m going to add my name and statement right away. But there’s more reasons why I prefer the Kepler mission’s approach to sending your name to space:

Your name will be in an exciting Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit, going around the sun every 372.5 days.

This activity is done in association with the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Your name will be on the spacecraft that will likely identify the first Earth-sized or smaller planet orbiting another star.

Your name will be launched on board a Delta II rocket.

Your name will be part of the mission that will determine the frequency of terrestrial and larger planets in or near the habitable zone of a wide variety of spectral types of stars.

Oh, the list goes on, but as you can see the Kepler mission will be THE mission to have your name be included.

So, here’s where you can add your name, as well as your statement of the importance of the Kepler mission. The deadline is November 1, 2008. And learn more about the mission here. Current plans are for a February 2009 launch for Kepler.

Original News Source: JPL press release

8 Replies to “Another (Better) Opportunity to Send Your Name to Space”

  1. Oh no! You upstaged the LRO 🙁 I want to sign up to this mission now! Hehe, looks like everyone wants to get involved, I’ll be sending my name to all of them 🙂

    Great find Nancy!

    Cheers, Ian

  2. Thanks, Ian and Tammy! But in all seriousness, I hope everyone takes advantage of BOTH the Kepler Mission and LRO to send their names along for the ride. It’s a fun way to feel like a part of the missions!

  3. Nancy — I tried submitting my name and a reason for the Kepler mission, but it wouldn’t accept it, saying that the alphanumeric characters I put in for the image didn’t match it. In fact, it’s *very* hard to tell what those images are. As it is, I have poor eyesight, and things often blur. And why the “necessity” of “matching the image,” anyway? This is *not* fair!

  4. I wonder if it would be worthwhile for the Kepler (and perhaps other) folks to charge a minimal amount (say $5.00) for the privilege of adding your name. Might be a good way of raising extra cash for funding future missions that are bit beyond current budget levels.

  5. Hey, I’ll take part just to support good science–anything that helps the cause of space exploration! Although it creates a bit of existential angst knowing that my name will be floating around long after I’ve expired!
    Cool article…

  6. Yael–try now. I think they’ve updated the name site.

    Nancy–thanks for promoting the Kepler Mission!

  7. Yes, Yael, the site has a different type of filter on it now , so try again. If you still have difficulty, maybe you can ask someone to assist you. The reason they have that filter on is to avoid the abuse of the site by computer spammers.

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