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CU and NASA invite people to send names to Mars

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BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — The University of Colorado and NASA are inviting members of the public to submit their names and a personal message online for a DVD that will be carried aboard a spacecraft that will probe the Martian upper atmosphere and ultimately be destroyed.

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft, also known as MAVEN, is scheduled for launch in November.

The DVD will carry every name that is submitted. The public is also encouraged to submit a message in the form of a three-line poem, or haiku, like this one submitted by the spacecraft team:

Mars mysterious

Thin sky and water-lined face?

MAVEN on its way.

An online public vote to determine the top three poems to be placed on the DVD will begin July 15. The deadline is July 1.

Unfortunately, the Mars messages are not eternal and won't reach the planet's surface. After the orbiting mission, the spacecraft will burn up in the planet's atmosphere.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera (http://tinyurl.com/d2vtlxv ), the DVD is part of the mission's "Going to Mars Campaign," coordinated at CU'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 mission," said Stephanie Renfrow, who heads the education program.

People who submit their names to the Going to Mars campaign can get a certificate showing their names will soon be on the way to the red planet.

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Online:

Mars Messages: http://lasp.colorado.edu/maven/goingtomars

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Information from: Daily Camera, http://www.dailycamera.com/

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