Name a Crater on Uwingu’s Mars Map
Imagine the first Mars explorers setting foot on its rusty, sandy surface, using the Mars maps with names supplied by people from back home on Earth! Courtesy NASA/JPL
The first human missions to Mars are not far away. Depending on which mission you’ve read about, and what you think of the current plans by NASA, SpaceX, Mars One, and others, those first Marsnauts could be setting foot on the Red Planet in the next decade or so. When they do that, they’re landing on virgin territory, a place where no one has walked before. It’s exciting. It’s exhilirating. And, it’s going to require a LOT of planning in advance.
Of course, the mission specifics are important. No matter which group or country sends a mission first, they’re going to have to plan for infrastructure — places for people to live, work, dig out the natural resources they need to survive. And, the first Mars explorers will need more mundane things, like maps with place names on them. They aren’t really going to have time to rush out and name every single rill and crater. Of course, there ARE names for the large regions, craters, and mountains on the planet. But, the smaller ones don’t really have names.
Mars Needs Names!
It would be good if they did, if for no other reason than to facilitate accurate and up-to-date communication about a team’s whereabouts to the mother base and back to Earth. That’s where the Uwingu Mars maps — and you — come in. Uwingu is a group I’ve written about before; its members are raising funds through the sale of crater names on their Mars maps to help fund science research and education. They’ve been successful at this project for more than a year, and a lot of really cool people have bought the name of a crater on Mars for themselves or a friend or loved one. I have a crater on Mars, and I’m pleased that my contribution has gone to help fund a good cause.
Last year, thousands of people named craters on Mars to celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day, and many others contributed money to name craters for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Father’s Day is coming up, and as they did for this past Mother’s Day, Uwingu is offering you a chance to name a crater for Dad, and commemorate it with a certificate you can download electronically or have framed. If you name one of the 50 largest craters on the map, you’ll get a special bonus gift certificate. It’s a great way to donate to worthy cause, and maybe even put a smile on Dad’s face!
You can get more information on the special offer and check out Uwingu’s maps on their Web site.
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