If you have always wished to send your name to the moon, this will be the best opportunity for you as your name could fly to the moon later this year. NASA is inviting space enthusiasts to put their name aboard its VIPER moon rover which will liftoff atop a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in late 2024.
Sending your name to the moon means that you belong to the few selected humans whose names will travel beyond our home planet to the lunar surface.
So how can you add your name to the VIPER rover? The process involved in getting your name aboard the rover is simple. Visit NASA’s website and follow the step-by-step instructions to complete the process. Note that you have between now and March 15 this year to get your name aboard the rover. Hence, it will be important that you take action immediately.
What You Should Know About VIPER Rover Mission
VIPER stands for (“Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover”). NASA plans to search for water ice and other useful resources near the lunar south pole using this powerful rover. But why the moon’s south pole? Well, NASA hopes to set up one or more crewed bases in this region to facilitate its Artemis space missions.
“With VIPER, we are going to study and explore parts of the moon’s surface no one has ever been to before — and with this campaign, we are inviting the world to be part of that risky yet rewarding journey,” Nicola Fox, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said in a statement.
Fox also stated the essence of sending our names to the moon aboard the VIPER rover.
“Just think: Our names will ride along as VIPER navigates across the rugged terrain of the lunar South Pole and gathers valuable data that will help us better understand the history of the moon and the environment where we plan to send Artemis astronauts,” Fox added.
VIPER is a crucial part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. The CLPS programs focus on sending NASA’s instruments and other gear to the lunar surface aboard private robotic landers. The program was specifically created to support Artemis astronauts who will land near the lunar south pole for the first time in either late 2025 or 2026.
Griffin is the robotic lander that will fly to the moon aboard the VIPER’s flight. The robotic lander is built by Pittsburgh-based company Astrobotic. Since Griffin is yet to reach space, delivering VIPER to the lunar surface will become its first mission.
Why you should send your name to the moon
Sending your name to the moon means that you have indirectly visited the moon. Even though the world is still years away from sending civilians to explore the lunar surface, NASA has provided the best opportunity anyone could take advantage of and send their names to the moon.
Imagine a VIPER rover moving around the rough surface of the lunar surface carrying your name aboard. This will be super cool as your name will be on the rover as it makes fascinating scientific discoveries for humankind on the moon’s surface. Hence, do not hesitate to visit NASA’s site and register your name.
In November 2022, NASA’s Orion space capsule carried about 3.4 million names to fly around the lunar orbit and return to Earth after completing the Artemis 1 uncrewed mission. These 3.4 million people have indirectly explored the lunar orbit with only their names aboard the capsule.
But unlike the Artemis 1 mission, the VIPER rover will be landing on the lunar surface with your name aboard. So you are about to learn the moon’s history with your name aboard the rover.