There are six weeks left until you add your name to a microchip that will travel aboard the spacecraft as it explores Jupiter’s moon Europa.
It’s not every day that the public gets the chance to send their names into deep space beyond Mars, all the way to Jupiter and its moon Europa. But with NASA Europe Clipper, you have that chance: The names will travel aboard the spacecraft as it travels 1.8 billion miles (2.6 billion kilometers) to this icy moon, where an ocean hides beneath an icy outer layer. The deadline to join the mission “Message in a BottleThere are only six weeks left until the election campaign. Campaign closes at 11:59 pm EST, December 31, 2023.
Until now, approximately 700,000 names have been presented. Once all the names have been gathered, the technicians of the Microdevice Laboratory at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California will use a beam of electrons to stamp them onto a silicon microchip the size of a dime. Each line of text is smaller than 1/1000th the width of a human hair (75 nanometers).
The chip will be attached to a metal plate engraved with the original poem “Praise of mystery”, written by American poet laureate Ada Limón to celebrate the mission. Traveling on the outside of the spacecraft, the poem and names will be like a message in a bottle as they make about 50 close flybys of the ocean world.
The mission will travel 500 million miles (800 million kilometers) during these orbits as the spacecraft’s payload Scientific instruments It collects data on Europa’s subterranean ocean, icy crust and atmosphere to determine whether the moon could support life.
Once Europa Clipper assembly is complete at JPL, the orbiter will be shipped to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for its launch in October 2024.
“Message in a Bottle” builds on NASA’s long tradition of delivering inspiring messages on spacecraft that have explored our solar system and beyond. The program aims to spark the imagination of people around the world like the Voyager spacecraft did in 1977 by sending a time capsule of sounds and images that reflect the diversity of life on Earth.
The site also allows participants to create and download a customizable souvenir (an illustration of their name on a message in a bottle in front of a representation of Europa and Jupiter) to commemorate the experience. Participants are encouraged to share their excitement on social media using the hashtag #SendYourName.
More about the mission
Europa Clipper’s main scientific goal is to determine if there are places beneath Europa, Jupiter’s icy moon, that could support life. The three main scientific objectives of the mission are to determine the thickness of the Moon’s icy shell and its surface interactions with the ocean below, investigate its composition, and characterize its geology. The mission’s detailed exploration of Europa will help scientists better understand the astrobiological potential of habitable worlds beyond our planet.
Find more information about Europe here:
News Media Contacts
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.