It's your lucky day, kids!


Ever dreamed of sending a raunchy, expletive, or otherwise inappropriate missive into outer space? If the answer's yes, it's your lucky day.

NASA's sending a spacecraft to Jupiter's icy moon, Europa, and they're crowdsourcing names to carve into a tiny chip aboard the craft, in an effort dubbed "Message in a Bottle." We're calling it "please write some name Bart Simpson would use to prank-call Moe, maybe something you'd scrawl onto a dive bar bathroom wall at roughly 3am, because few things say more about humanity than that."

"Join the mission and have your name engraved on NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft as it travels 1.8 billion miles to explore Europa, an ocean world that may support life," reads the NASA invitation. "Sign your name today to the… Message in a Bottle."

Oh, rest assured, NASA... we intend to.

The Europa Mission

For what it's worth, the Europa mission is extremely cool. Though extraterrestrial life could be thriving in conditions that life on Earth never could never withstand, right now humanity's best bet for finding organisms beyond Earth is in seeking out conditions similar to our own.

Europa, which boasts subterranean saltwater oceans, might just fit the bill.

"Because we know Earth has the right conditions for life, humans can then sharply narrow down the search for extraterrestrial life by searching only in places that have the conditions that Earth life requires: a source of energy, the presence of certain chemical compounds, and temperatures that allow liquid water to exist," reads NASA's mission overview. "Jupiter's icy moon Europa seems to be just such a place."

It's not a life-detection mission, per se — NASA doesn't necessarily think it's going to uncover some version of a European Atlantis — but scientists are hoping that clues gathered by the mission's Clipper spacecraft, which is to perform several close fly-bys of the Jupiterian satellite, will pave the way for life-detecting missions down the line.

The mission is slated for October 2024, and in the meantime, maybe take some time to put your name into NASA's Message in a Bottle portal. And definitely make sure it's appropriate. Okay, kids?

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