Send your name to the Moon

Contributed by
May 5, 2008

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is NASA's next big mission to the Moon, and it will launch later this year. It carries an interesting suite of equipment: a camera that will have 50 cm resolution on the surface of the Moon (I'm hoping for Apollo rover shots!), a laser altimeter for mapping the lunar topology, a radiation detector to map out the radiation environment of the Moon, and more.

But there's something else it can carry as well: your name. NASA is putting a microchip onboard LRO that will contain the names of anyone who submits them. Send them your own, or a relative, or someone you're trying to impress.

I actually think this is a cute idea. It doesn't hurt the mission, doesn't add any real mass, but it can help inspire people about space travel and give them a sense of ownership. They even have a cute video about it (here's the direct link).

Of course, it's open to abuse as well...

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