The OSIRIS-REx mission is going to an asteroid to collect and return a sample to Earth. OSIRIS-REx will launch in 2016, visit the asteroid from 2018 to 2021, and return a sample to Earth in 2023. Scientists will study the asteroid’s orbit, composition, and characteristics to answer questions about the early solar system, the building blocks of life, and potential impact hazards. Instead of traveling to (101955) 1999 RQ36, the asteroid’s provisional designation, we’re asking for help to find a new name. The Planetary Society, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, and the discovers at MIT’s Lincoln Lab will recommend selected names to the International Astronomical Union for selection.
Contestants must choose a name, explain their choice, and submit the application on the Planetary Society website.
The contest starts Tuesday, September 4, 2012. The deadline is Sunday, December 2, 2012.