While not everyone can go to outer space and witness its glory up close, you can take part in making history outside of Earth by sending your name to Jupiter's moon Europa.
In case you still didn't know, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) last June announced that it is sending names to Europa via its Europa Clipper spacecraft flying from Florida on October 10, 2024.
Five months later, on Nov. 14, the space agency took to social media to remind the public of its program, titled "Message in a Bottle," and gave more details on how you can take part in it before it closes on Jan. 1, 2024. (Philippine time).
According to the video shared by NASA, the Europa Clipper will travel 1.8 billion miles to Europa, an icy moon orbiting Jupiter. Its mission is to study the moon's ice shell, the ocean beneath it, and its composition and geology to determine if the moon is habitable.
Names will be flown to Europa, the sixth closest moon out of the 95 orbiting around Jupiter, through a tiny microchip produced by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory using a unique silicon water.
The names registered on the program's website will then be "stenciled" onto the microchip using an electron beam. To ensure that all names fit onto the chip, each line will be made to measure only 75 nanometers wide or 1/1000 the width of human hair.
Lastly, the microchips will be installed onto the spacecraft.
In a report by ABC7NY's Eyewitness News last June, NASA said that the microchip containing all the names will be sent to Europa alongside a poem written by American poet Ada Limón titled In Praise of Mystery: A Poem for Europa. The concept of this campaign is described by NASA as "a message in a bottle to the moon Europa."
How to fly your name to Europa
It only takes two easy steps for you to include your name on the list flying to Europa.
First, head to the website of NASA's "Message in a Bottle" program here. Enter your first and last names in the name field then click "next."
You will be redirected to a page where you are asked to provide your e-mail address, location or country, and postal code. Enter the necessary details, and your name will be sent to NASA for confirmation.
The website will then show you a message that reads, "Welcome aboard! Your name will be added to our Message in a Bottle (subject confirmation)." An artwork containing your name will also be available for you to download, print, and share at the bottom of the page.
You can also check if your name is already included in the list by heading to the "Check In" tab on the website. NASA noted that it usually takes up to 10 minutes for names to show up on its system.
Submission of names is until 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 31 (12:59 p.m. PHT on Jan. 1). According to Space.com, over 900,000 names have already been entered as of Nov. 26.