Your name could be blasted 1.8 million miles into space on-board Nasa’s Europa Clipper when it sets off for Jupiter’s moon, Europa, next year.
The space agency’s Message in a Bottle campaign will engrave names of supporters onto a tiny microchip connected to the craft - which is space-bound on October 10, 2024 and could arrive by 2030.
To play your part in your launch, you will need to submit your name to Nasa’s website before January 1. Click here to take part.
A Nasa spokesman offered: “Message in a Bottle draws from Nasa’s long tradition of shipping inspirational messages on spacecraft that have explored our solar system and beyond.
“The program aims to spark the imaginations of people around the world as the Voyager spacecraft did in 1977 by sending a time capsule of sounds and images reflecting the diversity of life on Earth.”
Time is ticking to #SendYourName to Europa!
Your name can ride aboard @NASA's #Europa Clipper spacecraft as it journeys to Jupiter's icy moon. The deadline to join the mission’s “Message in a Bottle” campaign is Dec. 31, 2023.
Get on board >> https://t.co/A7BEriauSD pic.twitter.com/gnBm0kJGZS
— NASA Marshall (@NASA_Marshall) November 20, 2023
So far, about 700,000 names have been submitted and Nasa has committed to beam them onto the microchip. You would, however, need specialist equipment to read them as each name is 1/1000th the width of a human hair.
The Europa Clipper will explore the icy moon to see if there is potential for any life beneath its surface. The mission follows an announcement in 2020 that Nasa considered that there could be life beneath the surface.
Nasa said: “The mission’s three main science objectives are to determine the thickness of the moon’s icy shell and its surface interactions with the ocean below, to investigate its composition, and to characterise its geology.
“The mission’s detailed exploration of Europa will help scientists better understand the astrobiological potential for habitable worlds beyond our planet.”
The European Space Agency has launched its own Juice probe to see if moons around Jupiter can support life. Meanwhile, a tool bag that was dropped by Nasa astronauts carrying out a job on the International Space Station (ISS) will be visible to the UK this week.