NASA wants you to send your name on an asteroid mission - WDRB 41 Louisville News

NASA wants you to send your name on an asteroid mission

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Image Credit: NASA / Goddard / Chris Meaney Image Credit: NASA / Goddard / Chris Meaney

IMAGE CREDIT: NASA / Goddard / Chris Meaney

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Talk about name-dropping.

NASA is inviting members of the general public to submit their names so the agency can send them to an asteroid, according to a news release.

The space agency is expected to launch the Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft in Sept 2016. The spacecraft's goal: to rendezvous with a 1,760-foot-wide asteroid -- called Bennu -- and spend two years there. During that time, the probe is expected to collect surface samples from the asteroid, then return to earth.

But surface samples won't be the only cargo aboard OSIRIS-REx, according to the news release. NASA says the probe will carry a microchip etched with the names of any member of the public who wishes to submit them. The program is called "Messages to Bennu!"

Those wishing to participate in the program by submitting their name should do so by Sept. 30.

Click HERE for information on how to submit YOUR name.

After a person submits his or her name, he or she will be able to download and print a certificate documenting his or her participation in the program, the release states.

Participants who "like" or "follow" the mission on Facebook will receive updates on the location of their name in space from launch time until the asteroid samples return to Earth in 2023.

Click HERE to visit the OSIRIS-REx Facebook page.

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