Last-Minute Father’s Day Gift: Give Him a Crater on Mars

We all know that Mars Needs Moms, but Dad rocks the Red Planet too! If you’re looking for a last-minute gift for Dad, the commercial space company Uwingu has a special Father’s Day promotion where you can name a crater on Mars after your dad (or any other special person in your life.) You’ll get a unique decorative Father’s Day certificate that you can download and print,or for an extra fee you can have the certificate professionally printed and framed.

Uwingu’s Mars Map Crater Naming Project at allows anyone to help name approximately 590,000 unnamed, scientifically cataloged craters on Mars. The company uses out-of-the-box idea to help address funding shortages for researchers, scientists, educators and students. Uwingu’s Mars map grandfathers in all the already named craters on Mars, but opens the remainder up for naming by people around the globe.

“This is an out-of-this-world way to honor dads across this planet,” said Dr. Alan Stern, Uwingu’s CEO. “Help your dad join our Dads on Mars club!”

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Uwingu also announced that anyone purchasing the 50 largest craters named by Father’s Day will receive a 2-for-1 bonus: a gift certificate of equal value; allowing them to put additional crater names on the Mars map for free anytime in 2015.

Prices for naming craters depend on the size of the crater, and begin at $5. Half of Uwingu’s revenues go to fund the Uwingu Fund for space research and education grants.

As we’ve reported previously, Uwingu knows that the names likely won’t officially be approved by the IAU, but said they will be similar to the names given to features on Mars by the mission science teams (such as Mt. Sharp on Mars –the IAU-approved name is Aeolis Mons) or even like Pike’s Peak, a mountain in Colorado which was named by the public, in a way, as early settlers started calling it that, and it soon became the only name people recognized.

“Mars scientists and Apollo astronauts have named features on the Red Planet and the Moon without asking for the IAU’s permission,” Stern said. In the past, Stern has said that he realizes having people pay to suggest names for with no official standing may be controversial, and he’s willing to take the chance – and the heat – to try a innovative ways to provide funding in today’s climate of funding cuts.

Said Uwingu’s Ellen Butler, “I’m excited to name a crater on the Uwingu Mars map in honor of my own dad. It’ll be fun to share this with him on Father’s Day. I know he’ll love telling his friends that I named a crater for him!”