Just after I started to transmit my blogs to space, I can now send my name to Pluto.
NASA is preparing to send the New Horizons probe to Pluto. It will be the first earth device to get intimate with the icy planet. NASA is asking everyone to send them their names, and these names will be written on a disk to be included in the probe.
The New Horizons probe will be launched in January 2006 to explore Pluto and the Kuiper belt, in the outskirts of the Solar System. It is expected that the probe will return to earth in approximately 50 thousand years.
This reminds me of the two Voyager probes sent on Aug 20, 1977 (Sep 5, 1977). The twin voyagers have served their duty for more than 10,000 days. I remember reading about these spacecrafts when I was in primary school, and I wrote a diary about my dream of becoming astronomist. (In Chinese, Astronomist is “Tian Wen Xue Jia”, and Libral artist is “Wen Xue Jia”, my school teacher missed reading the “Tian”, and commented “Good choice, you need to improve your hand writing to become a libral artist”. She totally ignored what I wrote in that article about space exploration!)
I still feel very excited about the whole space exploration thing. I used to run SETI@Home on my laptop. In the summer, when the Air Conditioning is too strong, I like to run the client software BOINC on my office machine, it increases my office temporature by 3 to 5 degrees.