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TRENDING SCIENCE: Want to send your name to the moon?

NASA invites the public to send their names around the moon.

Fundamental Research

Always wanted to fly to the moon but don’t quite have the millions? There’s hope, even if you might not be able to afford a ticket to an out-of-this-world journey. Your name can go for you. NASA is collecting names to be put on a flash drive that will fly aboard Artemis I in May or June 2022. “We’re getting ready for #Artemis I – and we want to take you with us,” the United States space agency announced in a tweet.

Fly me to the moon

It’s quick, easy and free to sign up through the Artemis I web page. Once you submit your first and last name and a custom PIN, NASA will create a virtual boarding pass with fight details for you. Remember to keep your PIN handy if you want to access your so-called boarding pass. You’ll also receive a QR code allowing you to virtually join future NASA launches. Wait, there’s more! You’ll earn 1.3 million novelty miles (2.1 million km). That’s the total distance the Artemis 1 mission will travel. The flash drive containing all the names will orbit the moon for more than 3 weeks. Hurry! Submissions opened earlier in March, and NASA has already received over 1 million names. The flash drive will be packed on Artemis I about a month before take-off. This will determine how long NASA continues to accept submissions. “We hope this is a way to get people excited and to bring them along and inspire the next generation, the Artemis generation,” NASA spokesperson Kathryn Hambleton told ‘CNN’. “We’re hoping to keep up this momentum of just a little over a week ago ... to gather many more names and generate more excitement from people around the globe that are going to ride along virtually.”

The Artemis I mission

According to the website, “Artemis I will be the first uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft. The flight paves the way toward landing the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon!” It adds: “The mission will demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond. Artemis I will be the first in a series of increasingly complex missions to build a long-term human presence at the Moon for decades to come.” A NASA news release explains that the Orion spacecraft will launch “on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown … Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before.” “This is a mission that truly will do what hasn’t been done and learn what isn’t known,” commented Mike Sarafin, Artemis I mission manager at NASA Headquarters in Washington. As your name travels to outer space, think about the stories you’ll be able to tell one day.

Keywords

moon, name, NASA, Artemis I, space, spacecraft, Orion