NASA calls on the public to send names and messages to Mars

Mars is one of the most explored and research planets in our solar system thanks in part to its proximity to the Earth. Mars is also likely to be the first planet in our solar system, other than Earth, where humans will walk. NASA is currently conducting a number of experiments aboard spacecraft on the surface of Mars and orbiting the planet.

In November of this year, NASA is planning to launch a new spacecraft called the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft. The space agency is calling on the public to submit their names and a personal message online that will be placed on a DVD that will be carried aboard the spacecraft on its mission to Mars. The actual purpose of the MAVEN spacecraft is to study the Martian upper atmosphere.

NASA says that the DVD aboard spacecraft will contain every name submitted. Other than names, the short messages can be submitted by people in the form of a three line poem or haiku. The catch with the poems is that only three will be included on the DVD.

NASA will allow the public to begin voting on which three poems will be included on the DVD beginning July 15. The DVD campaign is part of NASA's Going to Mars campaign. NASA hopes that the Maven spacecraft will help determine how the loss of its atmosphere to space affected the history of water on the surface of the planet.

[via NASA]