You have just days, until September 30, 2014 at 23:59 Pacific time, to submit your name at http://planetary.org/bennu, and to tell your friends and family to submit their names, to fly to asteroid Bennu and back on board NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer) mission. Hundreds of thousands of people, ok, actually their names, will be flying to the asteroid, spend over 2 years there, and return to Earth in the sample return capsule in 2023. A copy of the names will also be placed on the spacecraft, which will remain in space long after the sample return capsule is back on Earth.
Those who submit their names to the Messages to Bennu! campaign, part of The Planetary Society’s Messages from Earth program done in partnership with the OSIRIS-REx project, will be able to download and print a certificate documenting their participation in the OSIRIS-REx mission. OSIRIS-REx just passed its first major qualification test, as you can read in the blog by Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta from the University of Arizona, and it’s chugging along in development and testing leading towards its 2016 launch.
NOTE: When we experience particularly high traffic loads with name entry, which we do periodically, you should still be able to submit your name (if not, try back a little later), but you may not be able to print your certificate immediately, but you will when server loads go down. More details below.
Note that as part of our Messages from Earth program, all Planetary Society member names will fly automatically.
High traffic notice: If you get a notice that we have temporarily disabled certificate access to better deal with name entry server loads, you can always come back to get and print your certificate using either your first and last name and email address entered, or using your certificate number. We are sorry for any inconvenience. Be assured that if you enter/entered your name and got to the pop up window telling you your name will fly, then your name is in the database and will fly and you will be able to return and get your certificate as traffic loads on the server go down. If you did not receive a certificate number or if you don't remember it, but if you got to the pop up window saying "Success," then you will be able to get the certificate with your name and email). We appreciate your patience.