A former NASA astronaut Charles Duke wants to help the public send personalized messages to space. Duke is famous for serving as the lunar module pilot for NASA’s Apollo 16. He became the 10th person to walk on the lunar surface (Moon) through the program, Now, this former astronaut wants to make sending personalized messages to space a reality. These messages could even end up being on Mars once missions to the Red Planet have begun. Also Read - NASA satellite finds Chandrayaan-2 Moon Lander's debris: All you need to know
Duke has teamed up with AstroGrams, which aims to let people send messages to space. The project is inspired by Duke, who left behind a personal memento on the lunar surface during Apollo 16 program. “When I walked on the Moon, I took a photo of my family along and wrote a brief message on the back of the photo to leave on the Moon,” the former astronaut, said according to Universe Today. He added that the personalized message was his way of celebrating his family. Also Read - NASA joins ISRO's effort to establish communication with Vikram, Chandrayaan-2's moon lander
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Through AstroGrams, Duke wants to make it possible for anyone to send personalized messages to space. Public will have the chance to send their own personal messages to space that will be inscribed on a small metal plaque. The cheapest package with personalized message starts at $99 and the plaque will be sent on an orbital or sub-orbital flight. There is also an option to send these plaques on a round-trip expedition to the International Space Station for as low as $168. Also Read - ISRO offered semi-cryogenic engine technology by Russia's Roscosmos for human space capsule
AstroGrams also offers option to send messages to distant planets such as the Moon, Mars and even Interstellar Space. Once missions to these destinations start, the company plans to start offering these packages. It is also offering free packages exclusively for pediatric patients from different countries. “What better way to encourage them in their recovery as well as provide them a personal reason to become interested in and look forward to rocket launches,” Tom O’Connor, Duke’s co-collaborator on AstroGrams, said in a statement.