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LISTED BELOW are past and present unmanned deep space missions that were launched by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) since 1996. Onboard these robotic spacecraft are or were compact discs, microchips or engraved aluminum plates bearing the names of up to a million people...including that of Yours Truly. The majority of these names were submitted via the Internet (the exceptions being for Mars Pathfinder* and Cassini**) as part of public relation efforts by NASA and JAXA to get people interested in these missions. In my case, these PR campaigns worked quite well.


SELECT A MISSION: MARS PATHFINDER | CASSINI | DEEP IMPACT | NEW HORIZONS | PHOENIX | KAGUYA | DAWN | KEPLER | LUNAR RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER | HELLO FROM EARTH | AKATSUKI | IKAROS | SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY | SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR | SPACE SHUTTLE ATLANTIS | MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY


ONE EARTH: NEW HORIZONS MESSAGE


MARS PATHFINDER (NASA)

An image of the Sojourner rover on the Martian surface...taken by the Pathfinder lander on July 4, 1997
NASA / JPL

Launch: December 4, 1996

Destination: Mars - Ares Vallis region

Arrival & landing: July 4, 1997

End of mission: March 10, 1998

Number of names on microchip: 100,000


*-The names onboard Pathfinder were originally submitted for Russia's Mars '96 mission, which failed during launch on November 16, 1996. Like Cassini below, signatures were sent in via snail mail. Also like Cassini, certificates were not made available to confirm that my name is indeed onboard the Pathfinder lander. Since I know for sure that I submitted my name for Mars '96, I would have to assume that it was also on the list of names provided by The Planetary Society that eventually made its way to the Martian surface on America's Independence Day in 1997.

CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

The Mars Pathfinder lander and Sojourner rover undergo launch preparations at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on October 2, 1996A Delta 2 rocket carrying the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on December 4, 1996The Sojourner rover is deployed from the Pathfinder lander onto the surface of Mars on July 6, 1997The Sojourner rover studies a Martian rock nicknamed 'Yogi'An image of the Mars Pathfinder lander taken by the Sojourner rover

Sources:

NASA.Gov
History of the Delta Launch Vehicle
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pg. 1
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pg. 2
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pg. 3



CASSINI (NASA)

A mosaic of Saturn that is comprised of images taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on October 10, 2013
NASA / JPL - Caltech / Space Science Institute / G. Ugarkovic

Launch: October 15, 1997

Destination: Saturn

Arrival: July 1, 2004

Number of signatures on DVD: 616,400


**-Names were submitted for the Cassini mission by having them written on postcards and then being mailed to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California (where the spacecraft was built). The names were then scanned onto a computer to be burned onto a DVD. Like Mars Pathfinder above, no certificate was provided to confirm that a person's name is indeed onboard Cassini. In my case, I would just have to assume that it is.

CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

A close-up of the DVD that bears the names of 616,400 people...prior to being installed onto the Cassini spacecraftA DVD bearing the names of 616,400 people is installed onto the Cassini spacecraftThe Cassini spacecraft undergoes testing at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on October 31, 1996A Titan 4B rocket carrying the Cassini spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on October 15, 1997An image of Saturn's moon Enceladus...taken by the Cassini spacecraft on July 14, 2005

Sources:

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pg. 1
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pg. 2
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pg. 3
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pg. 4
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pg. 5



DEEP IMPACT (NASA)

LINK: My Deep Impact launch blog

The comet (named 9P/Tempel 1) that the Impactor smashed into during the Deep Impact mission
NASA / JPL - Caltech / UMD

Launch: January 12, 2005

Destination: Comet 9P/Tempel 1

Arrival & End of mission (for Impactor spacecraft): July 4, 2005

End of mission (for primary spacecraft): September 20, 2013

Number of names on CD: 625,000


CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

My certificate for NASA's Deep Impact space missionEngineers install the compact disc bearing my name (and 625,000 others) onto the ImpactorThe CD after it is installed onto the Deep Impact ImpactorThe Deep Impact spacecraft is mated to its Impactor at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. on April 7, 2004A Delta 2 rocket carrying the Deep Impact spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on January 12, 2005

Sources:

University of Maryland, Pg. 1
University of Maryland, Pg. 2
University of Maryland, Pg. 3
Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery



NEW HORIZONS (NASA)

LINK: My New Horizons launch blog

An image of New Horizons flying past the dwarf planet Pluto
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute

Launch: January 19, 2006

Destination: En route to dwarf planet Pluto / Kuiper Belt region

Number of names on CD: 434,738


***-I'm cheating with this one. I randomly found the certificate below through the name database on New Horizons' mission website. I don't know who would be cautious (or paranoid) enough to merely provide the initial of their first name and what might probably be a fragment of their last name in this submission, but seeing as how "Par" IS my last name, I'll claim this certificate as my own. Despite the fact the "Send Your Name to Pluto" campaign lasted from February to September of 2005, I didn't find out about this opportunity till about 2 weeks after the deadline came and went. The first names of my father, oldest brother AND sister start with an "R" as well...so it's nice to know that they're also heading towards Pluto and beyond!

CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

My (unofficial) certificate for NASA's New Horizons missionA technician installs a CD bearing the names of 434,738 people onto the New Horizons spacecraft in late 2005The New Horizons spacecraft and its third stage rocket motor are about to be encapsulated by the Atlas 5's payload fairing on December 13, 2005An Atlas 5 rocket carrying the New Horizons spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on January 19, 2006A composite image of Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io...taken by the New Horizons spacecraft during a flyby on February 28, 2007

Sources:

John Hopkins University, Pg. 1
John Hopkins University, Pg. 2
Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery
Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery



PHOENIX (NASA)

LINK: My Phoenix launch blog

The Phoenix lander with the Martian Northern Plains in the backdrop
James Canvin / NASA / JPL - Caltech / University of Arizona / Texas A&M University

Launch: August 4, 2007

Destination: Mars - Northern Plains

Arrival & landing: May 25, 2008

End of mission: November 10, 2008

Number of names on DVD: 250,000


CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

The Phoenix DVDThe Phoenix DVD after it is attached to the lander's flight deck on April 3, 2007A Delta 2 rocket carrying the Phoenix Mars lander launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on August 4, 2007The Phoenix DVD as seen on the Martian surface on June 6, 2008

Sources:

Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery
The Planetary Society, Pg. 1
The Planetary Society, Pg. 2
University of Arizona



KAGUYA (JAXA)

LINK: My Kaguya launch blog

Kaguya's HDTV image of Earth setting behind the Moon
JAXA / NHK

Launch: September 14, 2007 - Japan Standard Time (JST)

Destination: Earth's Moon - Lunar orbit

Arrival: October 4, 2007 - JST

End of mission: June 11, 2009 - JST

Number of names and messages on aluminum sheets: 412,627


CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

My certificate for JAXA's Kaguya (formely known as SELENE) Moon missionImages showing the aluminum sheets bearing the names of 412,627 space enthusiasts...after they were installed onboard the Kaguya spacecraft on June 5, 2007 (Japan Standard Time)An H-2A rocket carrying the Kaguya spacecraft launches from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on September 14, 2007 (Japan Standard Time)An HDTV image of the Earth taken by Kaguya as it headed for the Moon in September of 2007A shot of Kaguya's high-gain antenna with the Moon in the background

Sources:

JAXA, Pg. 1
JAXA, Pg. 2
JAXA, Pg. 3
JAXA, Pg. 4



DAWN (NASA)

LINK: My Dawn launch blog

Asteroid Vesta will be studied by the Dawn spacecraft in August of 2011
NASA JPL / UCLA

Launch: September 27, 2007

Destinations: Asteroid Vesta / En route to dwarf planet Ceres

Vesta Arrival: July 15, 2011 - U.S. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

Vesta Departure: September 4, 2012 (PDT)

Number of names on microchip: 365,000


CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

My certificate for NASA's Dawn asteroid missionA close-up of the microchip carrying the names of more than 360,000 space enthusiasts...after it was installed onboard the Dawn spacecraft on May 17, 2007Dawn's port solar panel undergoes testing prior to the spacecraft's launch on September 27, 2007A Delta 2 rocket carrying the Dawn spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on September 27, 2007A mosaic of asteroid Vesta using images that were taken by the Dawn spacecraft from July of 2011 to September of 2012.

Sources:

Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery, Pg. 1
Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery, Pg. 1
Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery, Pg. 3
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory



KEPLER (NASA)

LINK: My Kepler launch blog

A Kepler image of the Cygnus-Lyra starfield in our Milky Way galaxy
NASA / Ames / JPL - Caltech

Launch: March 7, 2009

Destination: Earth-trailing heliocentric (solar) orbit

Arrival: Shortly after launch

Number of names and messages on DVD: 60,000


CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

My certificate for NASA's Kepler missionAn engineer installs the DVD bearing my name (and around 60,000 others) onto the Kepler spacecraftThe Kepler spacecraft undergoes preparation prior to its launch on March 7, 2009The Kepler spacecraft is about to be enshrouded by the Delta 2 rocket's payload fairing, prior to launch on March 7, 2009A Delta 2 rocket carrying the Kepler spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on March 7, 2009

Sources:

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery, Pg. 1
Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery, Pg. 2
Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery, Pg. 3



LUNAR RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER (NASA)

LINK: My LRO launch blog

A Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mosaic of the Moon, taken in mid-December 2010
NASA / GSFC / Arizona State University

Launch: June 18, 2009

Destination: Earth's Moon - Lunar orbit

Arrival: June 23, 2009

Number of names on microchip: 1.6 million


CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

My certificate for the LRO missionEngineers prepare to install the microchip bearing my name (and 1.6 million others) onto the LRO spacecraftLRO is prepped for launch at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 19, 2009An Atlas 5 rocket carrying LRO launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on June 18, 2009An image of Earth taken by LRO on August 9, 2010

Sources:

Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery, Pg. 1
Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery, Pg. 2
NASA.Gov, Pg. 1
NASA.Gov, Pg. 2



HELLO FROM EARTH (NASA / COSMOS magazine)

LINK: My Hello From Earth transmission blog

An artist's concept of the Gliese 581 star system

Transmission date: August 28, 2009 - Australian Eastern Standard Time

Transmission source: NASA / CSIRO Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex - Tidbinbilla, Australia

Transmission size: 2,845,345 bytes

Destinations: Gliese 581 star system / Interstellar space

Arrival (to exoplanet Gliese 581d): December, 2029

Number of messages included in transmission: 25,878


CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

The 70-meter radio telescope, known as DSS-43, at NASA's Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex in Tidbinbilla, AustraliaA screencapture of my message on the HELLO FROM EARTH website

Source:

Hello From Earth



AKATSUKI (JAXA)

LINK: My Akatsuki & IKAROS launch blog

An infrared image of Venus taken by the Akatsuki spacecraft 373,000 miles--or 600,000 kilometers--away on December 9, 2010 (Japan Standard Time)
ISAS / JAXA

Launch: May 21, 2010 - JST (in tandem with IKAROS)

Destination: En route to Venus


****-Due to a problem with the spacecraft's propulsion system, Akatsuki failed to enter orbit around Venus during its targeted arrival day on December 7, 2010 (JST). The next opportunity for Akatsuki to fly near Venus will be in November of 2015. To protect the spacecraft from wear and tear as it orbits around the Sun, JAXA is placing Akatsuki in a hibernation state during this protracted cruise in deep space.

Number of names and messages on aluminum plates: 260,214

CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

My certificate for JAXA's Akatsuki mission to VenusImages showing the aluminum plates bearing the names of 260,214 space enthusiasts...that were installed onboard the Akatsuki spacecraft in mid-March of 2010An H-2A rocket carrying the Akatsuki spacecraft and IKAROS solar sail launches from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on May 21, 2010 (Japan Standard Time)A video screenshot of Akatsuki separating from its upper rocket stage after launch on May 21, 2010 (Japan Standard Time)An image of Earth taken by the Akatsuki spacecraft as it departed for Venus on May 21, 2010 (Japan Standard Time)

Sources:

JAXA



IKAROS (JAXA)

LINK: My Akatsuki & IKAROS launch blog

On June 15, 2010 (Japan Standard Time), a small separation camera was jettisoned from IKAROS to photograph the solar sail in its entirety
JAXA - Space Exploration Center

Launch: May 21, 2010 - JST (in tandem with Akatsuki)

Destinations: A flyby of Venus / Heliocentric orbit

Arrival: Flew past Venus on December 8, 2010 - JST

Number of names and messages on aluminum plates: 63,248

Number of names and messages on DVD: 89,000


CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

My certificate for JAXA's IKAROS solar sail missionImages showing the aluminum plates bearing the names of 63,248 space enthusiasts...that were installed onboard the IKAROS solar sail on April 6, 2010 (Japan Standard Time)The IKAROS DVD after it is attached to the spacecraft on April 24, 2010 (Japan Standard Time)On June 15, 2010 (Japan Standard Time), a small separation camera was jettisoned from IKAROS to photograph the solar sail in its entiretyA self-portrait of IKAROS, with Venus in the background, taken on December 8, 2010 (Japan Standard Time)

Sources:

JAXA, Pg. 1*
JAXA, Pg. 2
The Planetary Society, Pg. 1
The Planetary Society, Pg. 2

*-Text is in Japanese

SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY (NASA)

LINK: My Mission STS-133 launch blog

The International Space Station, as seen from space shuttle Discovery after she undocked from the orbital outpost on March 7, 2011
NASA

Launch: February 24, 2011

Destination: Low-Earth orbit / International Space Station (ISS)

ISS Arrival: February 26, 2011

ISS Departure: March 7, 2011

Landing & End of mission: March 9, 2011

Number of names and photos included in data transmission: 194,181


CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

My certificate for space shuttle flight STS-133Space shuttle Discovery launches from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on February 24, 2011An image of Robonaut 2, which was delivered to the International Space Station by space shuttle Discovery on STS-133A shot of space shuttle Discovery as she prepared to dock with the International Space Station on February 26, 2011Space shuttle Discovery concludes her final flight at Kennedy Space Center on March 9, 2011

Sources:

Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery, Pg. 1
Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery, Pg. 2
NASA.Gov, Pg. 1
NASA.Gov, Pg. 2



SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR (NASA)

LINK: My Mission STS-134 launch blog

The International Space Station (ISS) with space shuttle Endeavour docked to it, as seen from a Russian Soyuz vehicle after it undocked from the ISS on May 23, 2011
Roscosmos / ESA / NASA

Launch: May 16, 2011

Destination: Low-Earth orbit / International Space Station (ISS)

ISS Arrival: May 18, 2011

ISS Departure: May 29, 2011

Landing & End of mission: June 1, 2011

Number of names and photos included in data transmission: 128,940


CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

My certificate for space shuttle flight STS-134An aerial shot of space shuttle Endeavour after she launches from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 16, 2011An image of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, after it was delivered to the ISS by space shuttle Endeavour on STS-134The ISS with space shuttle Endeavour docked to it, as seen from a Russian Soyuz vehicle after it undocked from the ISS on May 23, 2011Space shuttle Endeavour concludes her final flight at Kennedy Space Center on June 1, 2011

Sources:

NASA.Gov, Pg. 1
NASA.Gov, Pg. 2
Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery



SPACE SHUTTLE ATLANTIS (NASA)

LINK: My Mission STS-135 launch blog

The International Space Station (ISS) with the Moon in the background, as seen from space shuttle Atlantis after she undocked from the ISS on July 18, 2011, Pacific Daylight Time
NASA

Launch: July 8, 2011

Destination: Low-Earth orbit / International Space Station (ISS)

ISS Arrival: July 10, 2011

ISS Departure: July 18, 2011 - PDT

Landing & End of mission: July 21, 2011

Number of names and photos included in data transmission: 44,506


CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

My certificate for space shuttle flight STS-135Space shuttle Atlantis launches from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 8, 2011At the White House, President Barack Obama watches the final launch of Atlantis on a television monitor in the Outer Oval Office, on July 8, 2011A shot of space shuttle Atlantis as she prepared to dock with the ISS on July 10, 2011The plasma trail caused by space shuttle Atlantis as she re-entered Earth's atmosphere is photographed from the ISS on July 21, 2011

Sources:

Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery
The White House
NASA.Gov
NASA.Gov



MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY (NASA)

LINK: My Curiosity Rover launch blog

A self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, taken with a camera on her robotic arm on October 31, 2012
NASA / JPL - Caltech / MSSS

Launch: November 26, 2011

Destination: Mars - Gale Crater - Aeolis Palus region

Arrival & landing: August 5, 2012 - PDT

Number of names on microchips: 1.25 million (including 20,000 digitized signatures)


CLICK ON THUMBNAILS TO ENLARGE:

My certificate for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) missionPosing with the Curiosity Mars rover and her descent stage behind me, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on June 6, 2011A close-up of one of two microchips carrying the names of 1.25 million space enthusiasts...now on the surface of MarsAn Atlas 5 rocket carrying the Curiosity Mars rover launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on November 26, 2011The MSL spacecraft floats away from its Centaur upper stage about an hour after launch, on November 26, 2011

Sources:

Jet Propulsion Laboratory - 2011 NASA Tweetup
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
United Launch Alliance, LLC
Kennedy Space Center - Facebook Page


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