The University of Arizona is leading another space mission, called OSIRIS-REx, in partnership with NASA.
An unmanned spacecraft, scheduled to launch in September 2016, will travel to an asteroid circling the sun.
The OSIRIS-REx mission will map and study an asteroid nicknamed 'Bennu'.
Travel to the asteroid will take about 2 years.
Then spacecraft will spend over 500 days studying Bennu, before returning to Earth in 2023 with a sample of the asteroid back to Earth.
As U of A scientists get ready for the mission, they want you to add your name to OSIRIS-REx.
The project is called 'Messages to Bennu'.
Simply fill out the form at this link and your name is added to a microchip that will travel with OSIRIS-REx.
A second copy of the microchip will stay in space, while the original copy will travel back to Earth with the asteroid sample.
Bennu is a near-Earth object.
The asteroid circles the sun every 436.604 days (1.2 years), and NASA says it comes relatively close to Earth every 6 years.
NASA projects Bennu could impact the planet in the year 2182.
The OSIRIS-Rex mission will "further the understanding of effects on this orbit and produce information to refine the calculations of the orbit and its intersection with Earth's."
The previous joint U of A and NASA mission was the Phoenix Mars Lander.
That spacecraft landed on Mars in May 2008 and operated into the beginning of November, about 2 months longer than the planned mission.
The Martian winter then too a toll on the Lander and communication was permanently lost.
The Phoenix Mars Lander mission studied the presence of water on the Red Planet.
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