Here is an exclusive -- and free -- offer from NASA to put your name inside the spacecraft that will crash into Comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005. SPACE.com tells us the story.
NASA has launched a campaign to send hundreds of thousands of names to comet Tempel 1 on board the agency's Deep Impact spacecraft.
Deep Impact is the first deep-space mission designed to really reach out and touch a comet. Mission scientists are confident an impact on a comet's nucleus will answer basic questions about the nature and composition of these celestial wanderers.
"This is an opportunity to become part of an extraordinary space mission," said Dr. Don Yeomans, an astronomer at JPL and a member of Deep Impact's science team. "When the craft is launched in December 2004, yours and the names of your loved-ones can hitch along for the ride and be part of what may be the best space fireworks show in history."
And how will it work?
Deep Impact's larger flyby spacecraft will carry a smaller impactor spacecraft to Tempel 1 for release into the comet's path for a planned collision. The flyby spacecraft will take pictures as the 816-pound (370-kilogram) copper-tipped impactor plunges into Tempel 1 at about 22,990 miles (37,000 kilometers) per hour.
The impactor is expected to make a spectacular, football field-sized crater, seven to 15 stories deep, in the speeding comet. Carried aboard the impactor will be a standard mini-CD containing the names of comet, space and other enthusiasts from around the world.
For more details, including images and videos, please visit the NASA's Deep Impact Home Page.
And if you want to sign up, you can do it here until January 2004.
Source: SPACE.com, May 9, 2003
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