You Can Name A Mars Crater For The One You Love, Because Who Said Romance Was Dead?
Because naming a ship or a star after the one you love is so 2013, start-up company Uwingu is offering you the chance to name a Mars crater after your person of choice. For somewhere between $5 and $5,000, you can buy and label your own crater on the Red Planet, and your money goes towards funding grants in space exploration, education, and research. Some newly-named craters range from "Kali's Crater," to, um, "Pibble and Bunny's Eternal Love."
There are more than half a million non-named craters on the Red Planet, according to Uwingo, and anyone with the Internet and at least five bucks can share in a landmark. Using an interactive surface viewer, participants are helping to create "the first citizen’s Mars map". You can either choose your own crater or have it chosen for you, based on how much you're willing to pay.
For an extra-extra-large crater, the price tag can reach $5,000. Remember: Nothing says "romance" like a giant hole in the middle of the Milky Way.
Alan Stern, Uwingo CEO and former associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, told Space.com that Uwingo provides an alternative solution to budget cuts faced in the industry. Though the crater names won't be officially authorized or recognized by the International Astronomical Union, Stern added, the tool provides a "cultural snapshot" into people's lives.
Contributors also get to help name the grids of Mars' districts and provinces, in what Uwingu calls "the first ever address system for Mars." Could this be the beginnings of a neighborhood for "Mars One" residents?