Diigo Links

Friday, July 05, 2002

Let's fly to meet your "star prince."

The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, is planning to launch a rocket from the southernmost prefecture of Mainland Japan. Aboard the rocket is the Muses-C spacecraft which is on a sample return mission to a tiny asteroid.

Included in this mission was the offer to get your name permanently deposited on the asteroid. I took the bait.

The names are reduced down to 30 microns in size and are etched on a aluminum foil sheet that envelopes the "target marker," a softball-sized ball. It will be released from the spacecraft onto the asteroid surface as a guiding landmark for the spacecraft to be able to touch down on the sample-collecting sites safely. And it'll stay there after the rest of the craft takes off for its return trip home.

There's something a little bit graffiti about the whole thing. But then, if someone tags a tree in the forest, but no one is around to see it - is it vandalism?

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