Send a Message to Mars

The public is invited to be a part of the MAVEN mission.  Image: courtesy Lockheed Martin via CU/LASP

The public is invited to be a part of the MAVEN mission. Image: courtesy Lockheed Martin via CU/LASP

NASA is getting ready to launch a new spacecraft to Mars. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft (MAVEN) mission will study the upper atmosphere of Mars. Like some of the other missions of late, NASA is inviting the public to be involved in a fun way.

A DVD is going to be produced with the names of as many people as sign up by July 1, 2013. The DVD is part of the Going to Mars Campaign and is coordinated at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (CU/LASP).

You can send your name to be included on the DVD and you can print out a certificate as proof. Plus if you are so inclined you can submit a three line poem or haiku that will need to undergo a selection process where only three will be selected. The press release says only three haikus, I assume they mean poems too. I could be wrong but I consider them distinct and therefore different because of the sturcture. I am more of a limrick kind of guy, no, I’m going there and besides a proper limerick has five lines. The selections will be judged online so the bar will be high but not out of reach for the creative among you, give it a go.

Submit your name at the Going to Mars with Maven website

Learn more about MAVEN.

Can you say “what a great science-fair project this would be”? Oh to be in school again, this would have made life so easy! Oh well.

The details from NASA are in a press release below and be sure to check out the list of players at the end. I am always pleased to see different (and very fine I might add) educational institutions working together. I dunno, I just am – it’s great.

WASHINGTON — NASA is inviting members of the public to submit their names and a personal message online for a DVD to be carried aboard a spacecraft that will study the Martian upper atmosphere.

The DVD will be in NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, which is scheduled for launch in November. The DVD is part of the mission’s Going to Mars Campaign coordinated at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (CU/LASP).

The DVD will carry every name submitted. The public also is encouraged to submit a message in the form of a three-line poem, or haiku. However, only three haikus will be selected. The deadline for all submissions is July 1. An online public vote to determine the top three messages to be placed on the DVD will begin July 15.

“The Going to Mars campaign offers people worldwide a way to make a personal connection to space, space exploration, and science in general, and share in our excitement about the MAVEN mission,” said Stephanie Renfrow, lead for the MAVEN Education and Public Outreach program at CU/LASP.

Participants who submit their names to the Going to Mars campaign will be able to print a certificate of appreciation to document their involvement with the MAVEN mission.

“This new campaign is a great opportunity to reach the next generation of explorers and excite them about science, technology, engineering and math,” said Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator from CU/LASP. “I look forward to sharing our science with the worldwide community as MAVEN begins to piece together what happened to the Red Planet’s atmosphere.”

MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. The spacecraft will investigate how the loss of Mars’ atmosphere to space determined the history of water on the surface.

“This mission will continue NASA’s rich history of inspiring and engaging the public in spaceflight in ongoing Mars exploration,” said David Mitchell, MAVEN project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

MAVEN’s principal investigator is based at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. The university will provide science operations, science instruments and lead Education and Public Outreach. Goddard manages the project and provides two of the science instruments for the mission. Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colo., built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations. The University of California at Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory provides science instruments for the mission. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., provides navigation support, the Deep Space Network and the Electra telecommunications relay hardware and operations.

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