Anyone who missed getting their name on Mars the first time have a second chance.
The orbiter Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, will circle the red planet to see how the sun might have stripped it from most of its atmosphere, according to NASA. It will see if Mars was a planet once possible habitable into a cold and barren desert world.
It’s the first mission to explore the upper atmosphere.
And any one can get their name on the craft. Until July 1, people may submit their names at http://lasp.colorado.edu/maven/goingtomars/send-your-name/.
Even more, poets can enter a haiku in a contest. The top three will be placed on a microchip on the craft.
Only adults 18 and older may sign up. They can sign their own name and submit poetry or write on behalf of their child. All messages must be original and in English.
MAVEN’s projected launch is Nov. 18, but it has a launch window until Dec. 7. It will reach Mars’ orbit in September 2014.
To follow the mission, visit http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/maven/.
Kristen Roderick, Social Media Editor
Read more of Kristen’s work at All That Buzz.