NASA is once again inviting people from all around the world to send their names into space. This campaign, called Send Your Name with VIPER, will see your name sent to the moon’s surface aboard NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) later this year.
The rover is part of an ongoing mission to explore the surface of the moon more in-depth, and it will launch as part of Astrobotic’s Griffin Mission One, which will leave Earth aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket in late 2024. The rover will then be carried to the moon, where NASA hopes to use it to explore parts of the Moon that no one has ever been to.
The space agency says that the mission is risky but that the risk will pay off if they can successfully land it and explore the parts of the moon’s surface that they have set aside. As always, you can sign up for the Send Your Name with VIPER campaign on NASA’s website, and registration is open until March 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Once the agency collects the names, it will attach them to the rover. Participants can also create and download a virtual boarding pass to the VIPER mission featuring their name, which the agency has done with similar campaigns. Previously, NASA has allowed the public to send their name to space aboard Artemis I, the Europa Clipper mission, and more.
The Send Your Name with VIPER campaign is just one way the general public can get a bit more involved in the ongoing exploration missions that NASA has underway. While the names ultimately don’t offer any needed addition to the mission, seeing so many people with their names represented in some fashion on this historic mission is nice.
The VIPER rover is part of NASA’s expanding CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) initiative, which hopes to one day create a long-term base of operations on the moon’s surface.