• The names will be stenciled on a microchip with a poem dedicated to the Europa Clipper mission
  • You can submit the names by the end of the year
  • Message in a Bottle is the perfect convergence of science, art, and technology: NASA's Nicola Fox

If you've ever dreamed of being a part of a space mission, now's your chance. NASA is giving people the opportunity to have their names fly with its spacecraft that will soon travel to Jupiter's moon, Europa.

NASA has invited members of the public to add their names to a poem that's set to fly along with the Europa Clipper spacecraft. The Europa Clipper mission is set to launch in October 2024. As part of the "Message in a Bottle" campaign, the names of people will be stenciled onto a microchip that bears Ada Limón's poem, "In Praise of Mystery: A Poem for Europa."

Those interested to add their names to the poem can do so on NASA's website. Any space enthusiast would want their name to ride along with the mission and the beautifully-written poem, with lines that invoke inspiration and wonder for the mission ahead.

The poem reads:

"And it is not darkness that unites us,
not the cold distance of space, but
the offering of water, each drop of rain,

each rivulet, each pulse, each vein.
O second moon, we, too, are made
of water, of vast and beckoning seas."

There is evidence that Europa contains an ocean of liquid water under its crust, which is why it's quite a good target when it comes to looking for potentially habitable environments. And the Europa Clipper spacecraft, which is the "largest spacecraft NASA has ever developed for a planetary mission," will investigate whether its conditions could be suitable for life.

"(W)e begin our search with a world where research has been pursued for many decades, and where the questions to ask are very well defined," NASA noted. "So off we go to Europa!"

By adding your name to the "message in a bottle," you can be a part of this special mission as it travels 1.8 billion miles away. People can even create and download a souvenir that shows their name in a bottle together with Europa and Jupiter.

"'Message in a Bottle' is the perfect convergence of science, art, and technology, and we are excited to share with the world the opportunity to be a part of Europa Clipper's journey," associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Nicola Fox, said in a news release. "I just love the thought that our names will be traveling across our solar system aboard the radiation-tolerant spacecraft that seeks to unlock the secrets of Jupiter's frozen moon."

Such missions broaden human understanding of the universe around us. And while not everyone can have a direct part in these missions, efforts such as these allow anyone to take part in the journey.

When the Perseverance Rover blasted off to Mars, it was also carrying 10.9 million names submitted by members of the public, which were stenciled onto three silicon chips. NASA also aimed to inspire and involve the next generation of space explorers by partnering with Minecraft to develop "worlds" that allowed them to get a glimpse of the action behind the ambitious Artemis Program, from building a rocket to establishing a lunar base.

As for the "Message in a Bottle" campaign, people should submit their names by Dec. 31. The spacecraft is expected to arrive in the Jupiter system years later in 2030.

Those interested can catch a glimpse of the Europa Clipper spacecraft's assembly at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) live.

Europa Clipper
This artist's rendering shows NASA's Europa mission spacecraft, which is being developed for a launch sometime in the 2020s. The concept image shows two large solar arrays extending from the sides of the spacecraft, to which the mission's ice-penetrating radar antennas are attached. A saucer-shaped high-gain antenna is also side mounted, with a magnetometer boom placed next to it. On the forward end of the spacecraft (at left in this view) is a remote-sensing palette, which houses the rest of the science instrument payload. NASA/JPL-Caltech