This is a hot opportunity! NASA has opened the platform for those who want their name to travel all the way from Earth and across the boiling surface of the Sun. It’s all true.
NASA is inviting people around the world to submit their names online to be placed on a microchip aboard its historic solar probe launching this summer. “This probe will journey to a region humanity has never explored before,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This mission will answer questions scientists have sought to uncover for more than six decades,” he added.
Star Trek fame’s William Shatner has already signed up to his name on the chip. “The first-ever spacecraft to the sun, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, will launch this year on a course to orbit through the heat of our star’s corona, where temperatures are greater than 1 million degrees,” Shatner said in a new NASA video about this public-outreach effort. “The spacecraft will also carry my name to the sun, and your name, and the names of everyone who wants to join this voyage of extreme exploration.”
If you are convinced with Shatner’s ways, you can get your name on that chip for free by visiting the NASA “Hot Ticket” site through April 27.
The Parker Solar Probe mission, that runs a budget of $1.5 billion, is scheduled to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 31. If all goes as planned, the spacecraft will perform 24 close flybys of the sun over the next seven years, at times getting within just 3.9 million miles (6.2 million kilometers) of the solar surface. That’s seven times closer than any other probe has ever gotten to the sun, NASA officials said.