Involving the Public in Space Exploration Through Contests
The Planetary Society creates ways for the public to have active roles in space exploration. We seed innovative space technologies, nurture creative young minds, and are a vital advocate for our future in space.
OSIRIS-REx is going to fly to an asteroid and bring back some pieces. The Planetary Society, MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, and the University of Arizona asked students around the world to suggest better names for the asteroid. The winner was 9-year-old Mike Puzio of North Carolina, who suggested the name Bennu.
The "Name the Rovers" contest, managed by The LEGO Company and The Planetary Society in conjunction with NASA, provides students with the unbelievable opportunity to suggest a name for the two Mars-bound rovers.
The target of NASA's Deep Space 1 mission now has a name: 9969 Braille, after Louis Braille, the inventor of the language system that enables sightless people to read.
In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further.