The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Friday, January 17, 2014

Take a Ride to an Asteroid Aboard NASA's OSIRIS-Rex!

Image Courtesy of NASA
You, yes, you are invited to hitch a ride aboard the Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-Rex) as it heads off to an encounter with the Bennu asteroid in 2016. Space is limited so you'll need to sign up now. Also, it's your name that goes, not you, aboard the "Message to Bennu" microchip. OSIRIS-Rex will spend two years studying the 1,760 foot (500 meter) wide asteroid. Better yet, it'll be collecting a sample (a long sought goal of robotic missions to anywhere) and returning that sample to Earth.

You have until September 30 to sign up to be part of the exploration of our solar system. Better yet, if you "like" or "follow" the OSIRIS-Rex site on Facebook, you can keep track of where yours and everyone else's names ... and the spacecraft ... are in flight. Pretty cool idea.

To sign up, head over to the Planetary Society's site and fill in a couple of lines. You'll be on your way (in name) to Bennu before you know it. The address is: http://planetary.org/bennu

Join me and my family aboard. And, as Jason Dworkin, mission project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, says, "It is exciting to consider the possibility that some of the people who register to send their names to Bennu could one day be a part of the team that analyzes the samples from the asteroid ten years from now." That is an exciting idea.

See you around Bennu.  

For more on the mission, see: http://www.nasa.gov/osiris-rex

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