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MAVEN Mission Seeks Poems for Space

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission is part of NASA's Mars Scout program, funded by NASA Headquarters.
Are you a poet and a space geek?

If so, NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is offering a unique chance to send your poem all the way to Mars aboard the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft that will be launched in November.

Poems should be in the form of a haiku, and the deadline for submissions is July 1. Through an online public vote, the top three will be selected and burned onto a DVD, which will be placed aboard MAVEN. Anyone who sends in a submission will also have their name burned onto the DVD. Voting will begin July 15.

Participants who submit their poems to the Going to Mars campaign will be able to print a certificate of appreciation to document their involvement with the MAVEN mission.

“This is really supposed to give the public an opportunity to have a connection to the mission and the planet,” said Stephanie Renfrow, lead for the MAVEN Education and Public Outreach program at Colorado at Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (CU/LASP). “It’s not so much about sending a message to the universe.”

According to Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator from CU/LASP, the idea is to reach “the next generation of explorers and excite them about science, technology, engineering and math.”

MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. The spacecraft will orbit Mars and investigate how the loss of Mars' atmosphere to space determined the history of water on the planet’s surface. The initial mission is slated to last a year, but could be extended.

To participate in the Going to Mars campaign click here.

Here's a video on MAVEN's mission: