By Shelley Smith
NASA is scheduled to launch the “Glory” satellite into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, during June 2009, and has invited members of the public to submit their names to fly around the Earth for an Earth’s atmosphere collection. The Web site where people can place their names in orbit for years to come is on the “Send Your Name Around the Earth.”
Glory will be part of the Afternoon Constellation, or “A-Train,” a series of Earth-observing satellites that will follow each other in close formation. The A-Train will orbit the earth once every 100 minutes that will be carrying the names of the people. All participants receive a printable certificate from NASA and the names are placed on a little microchip that is placed on the satellite.
The mission satellite will be collecting effects of particles in the atmosphere and the sun’s variability on the earth’s climate. This will allow the scientists to measure airborne particles more accurately from space like dust and smog.
The Glory satellite will be up there for years to come and has been opened up to the public for free. On a personal note, I used my email address to place my living family, myself, and I took the opportunity to memorialize my deceased brother and father to orbit the earth too. My mother and nieces and nephew were so delighted to imagine the family name orbiting the earth for years. I see this as a great family and educational project too. Children would get a kick out of knowing their names are in space as they watch the night sky and the twinkling stars above them.
For more information on Glory, visit: http://glory.gsfc.nasa.gov
About the Author
Shelley Smith is an expert in analysis and research on varied national and international issues, homeland security, terrorism and counterterrorism, law enforcement, criminal justice systems, and other. Smith has an A.S. in Criminal Justice with Honors and a B.A in Intelligence Studies. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Intelligence Studies Capstone with a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies at American Military University.