NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission scheduled to launch in November, will carry over 1,100 personal three-line poems, or haiku. The selected entries will be included on a DVD attached to the spacecraft that also includes selected artwork from a student contest and tens of thousands of names submitted by the public by September 10. MAVEN will be the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere.
The contest received over 12,500 entries worldwide as part of the mission's Going to Mars campaign. On May 1, 2013, the public was invited to submit their names and a personal message online for the DVD to encourage the public to come along for the trip. The campaign also is still accepting names, through a new log-in-free interface, until September 10.
"The contest resonated with people in ways that I never imagined," said Stephanie Renfrow, MAVEN Education and Public Outreach leader and the Going to Mars campaign leader. "Both new and accomplished poets wrote poetry to reflect their views of Earth and Mars, to share their feelings about space exploration, to pay tribute to loved ones who have passed on and to make us laugh with their words."
MAVEN's principal investigator is based at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. The university will provide science operations, science instruments and lead Education and Public Outreach. Goddard manages the project and provides two of the science instruments for the mission. Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colo., built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations. The University of California at Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory provides science instruments for the mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., provides navigation support, the Deep Space Network and the Electra telecommunications relay hardware and operations.
To learn more about the winning haiku entries and to submit your name to fly to Mars, visit: