The American space agency NASA is offering those who want to write their name on an electronic chip that will board the Europa Clipper spacecraft next October to visit one of the moons of the planet Jupiter.
The goal of the mission, which will launch in October 2024 and land more than 1.8 billion kilometers away on Jupiter’s moon Europa in 2030, is to search for signs of habitability and identify a possible landing site for a future mission, reported the National Post on Tuesday.
Scientists are almost certain that there is an ocean beneath the moon’s crust, the English-language media continued.
On board the ship, the space agency, accustomed to involving the public in its missions, wants to bring an electronic chip with the list of everyone who wants to send their name into space and on which a poem “for Europe” is written by the American poet laureate Ada Limón.
So far, more than 867,500 people have added their name to the “message in a bottle” list, which has been growing rapidly since June 2023 with electronic signatures from all parts of the world.
In Canada, more than 17,700 citizens have also added their names.
In the past, NASA has repeatedly appealed to the public to name its missions, such as Sojourner, its first rover that landed on Mars in 1995, the National Post recalled.
Two years later, the space agency also sent a mini-DVD containing 616,400 hand signatures, including those of actor Patrick Stewart, who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, to accompany a mission to Saturn.
Anyone who would like to add their name to the list can do so on the NASA website by December 31st.