WASHINGTON, D.C. – Grab your space suits, NASA is looking to send you to one of Jupiter’s moons. Well at least, sending your name to Jupiter’s moon. It’s all part of their Message in a Bottle campaign for an upcoming mission.
“Space exploration is a shared human endeavor, and we want everyone to come with us on this mission” said NASA public engagement specialist Laurance Fauconnet.
NASA is preparing for an out of this world mission. It’s a mission 1.8 billion miles away to explore one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa.
“Europa is a really interesting place in our solar system,” said Fauconnet. “There’s really strong evidence that underneath it’s strong icy crust there’s a giant liquid salt water ocean and the Europa Clipper (spacecraft) is going to study this in more detail and it’s gonna help us understand what’s going on the surface and what’s going on underneath the surface because on Earth where we find liquid water, we tend to find some type of life.”
And if you’re thinking about extraterrestrials, NASA said they’re not quite looking for that kind of life.
“The Europa Clipper isn’t a life detection mission,” said Fauconnet. “It’s not going to be looking for life but it is going to help us understand what’s happening at this moon and help us understand the potential habitability of that moon. And when we’re talking about any type of life on Europa, we’re talking about microbial life that’s what realistically there.”
NASA’S Europa Clipper spacecraft is scheduled to take off next October and they’re inviting you to come along by participating in their “Message in a Bottle” campaign.
“Your name will be etched onto a microchip that will then be attached to the Europa spacecraft,” said Fauconnet.
Along with that, NASA said you’re also signing your name to a poem written by US Poet Laureate Ada Limon, which will also be engraved on the side of the spacecraft.
“The poem really captures what it means to be human and to ask these big questions and we want everybody to be part of that to add their name to that message that we as NASA can do what we can to reach into the stars,” said Fauconnet. “To help ask these big questions about how does the universe work and what are we doing here.”
Signing up is free and the deadline to sign your name is December 31, 2023.
“Gift it to someone a journey to Jupiter which is the ultimate holiday destination,” said Fauconnet. “It will be an opportunity for us to take a moment and look back at the progress we’ve made as people over those several years while the space craft traveling to the Jupiter system.”
This is not the first time NASA has done a campaign like this. They’ve sent pieces of art, images, sounds and greetings in different languages into space on other missions. So far more than one million people around the world have added their name to NASA’s “Message in a Bottle”.