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NASA Calls On Poets To Submit Haikus To Spacecraft Headed For Mars

May 02, 2013 03:49 PM EDT
Temperatures in the Martian atmosphere regularly rise and fall not just once a day, but twice.
(Photo : Reuters)

Science meets poetry in NASA’s latest call to the public to submit their name and a personal message online for a DVD to be carried aboard a spacecraft headed to study Mars's upper atmosphere.

The DVD will be on NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatiles Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, which is scheduled for launch in November.

The DVD is part of the mission’s Going to Mars Campaign coordinated by the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

“The Going to Mars campaign offers people worldwide a way to make a personal connection to space, space exploration, and science in general, and share in our excitement about the MAVEN missions,” Stephanie Renfrow, lead for the MAVEN Education and Public Outreach program, said in a NASA press release.

Among the suggested messages, are haikus, though only three will be selected and while everyone on Earth is welcome to participate - so long as they are 18 or older, only those written in English will be accepted.

“The new campaign is a great opportunity to reach the next generation of explorers and excite them about science, technology, engineering and math,” said Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator. “I look forward to sharing our science with the worldwide community as MAVEN begins to piece together what happened to the Red Planet’s atmosphere.”

The deadline for submissions is July 1 with an online public vote to follow.

According to NASA, MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere and is designed to explore in depth the mystery as to how the planet’s loss of atmosphere determined the history of water on its surface.

“The mission will continue NASA’s rich history of inspiring and engaging the public in spaceflight in ongoing Mars exploration,” David Mitchell, MAVEN project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said.

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