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NASA's latest move to help drum up interest in space exploration will allow anyone to submit their artwork to be included on an unmanned mission to the asteroid Bennu. Instead of printing physical copies of the masterpieces they receive, NASA will load them all on a chip that will ride on the OSIRIR-REx spacecraft.
The spacecraft is set to blast off for Bennu on Sept. 8, 2016, from Cape Canaveral in Florida. In 2019, the spacecraft will take a sample of the asteroid, according to a mission timeline provided by NASA.
The microchip is ready to ride. I'm proud to carry more than 440,000 of your names with me on the journey to Bennu. pic.twitter.com/erJ27sWZS6— OSIRIS-REx (@OSIRISREx) February 4, 2016
OSIRIS-REx will then leave Bennu sometime around March 2021. It will cap off its seven-year journey when the spacecraft is set to parachute into the Utah desert on Sept. 24, 2023, bringing with it a sample of the asteroid.
Want to send your art on a wild ride? Submissions will be accepted via Twitter and Instagram until March 20. Use the tags @OSIRISREx for Twitter or @OSIRIS_REX on Instragram. Be sure to include the hashtag #WeTheExplorers.