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All Aboard! Send Your Name, Message to an Asteroid

Credit: JAXA/Akihiro Ikeshita

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is preparing for launch its Hayabusa2 spacecraft – set to depart in 2014 then land on an asteroid in 2018. Then the mission will return samples of the space rock back to Earth in 2020.

JAXA has opened up a Haybusa2 name and message campaign. The space agency will record and load your names, messages and illustrations on two onboard devices.

– A target marker is a marking device for when the Hayabusa2 lands on the asteroid. The marker will be dispatched from the Hayabusa2 to the asteroid to stay there once on the asteroid’s surface.

– The re-entry capsule will be detached from the Hayabusa2 main body to return to Earth while protecting sample sands from the asteroid from high heat at the time of re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere. The capsule plays the last important role for the Hayabusa2 mission by carrying sand back from the asteroid.

“Through this campaign and Hayabusa2’s six-year space mission, we would like people to deepen their understanding of Japan’s space probe activities,” said JAXA in a press statement.

NOTE: The campaign to collect name and messages is from12:00 p.m. (Noon) on April 10 (Wed.), 2013 (Japan Standard Time (JST) until 12:00 p.m. (Noon) on July 16 (Tue.), 2013 (JST).

How to apply: Please refer to the following JAXA website:

http://www.jspec.jaxa.jp/e/hottopics/20130329.html

By Leonard David

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