NASA is offering everyone an opportunity to get their name sent to the moon on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter(LRO). This link: will allow you to enter your name into the database and print a certificate certifying your entry. The deadline is June 27, 2008.

I’ve always wanted the honor of going to the moon; this is the next best thing. The names in the database will be etched into a microchip that will be integrated into the spacecraft. Let’s hope the moon people use Intel chips, so they can read our names. 

I plan to enter my name tomorrow at work so I can print the certificate. At the moment, I am printer-less.

The only other recent honor is my successful completion of a bowl of ‘Firebrand’ chili at the local chili parlor, where upon completion of the bowl, and having been certified ambulatory, you get the honor of writing your name on the wall. Now you may have to rush back to work in a sweat, but still, it is an honor at least in the retelling of the event if not in the actual eating; sending my name to the moon will be a lot less stressful.

The LRO is the first step in NASA’s plan to get us back to the moon by 2020. When they get there, they can kill time by checking our names; perhaps they will want to search for relatives from twenty years prior.

The LRO will carry six instruments, looking for safe landing sites and trying to identify useful lunar resources. A complete atlas of the moon’s features will be created to aid in the development of a lunar outpost, sort of like the international space station, except it will be on the moon. LRO is being built at the Goddard Space Center and will be launched later this year.

Join NASA's return to the moon