MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: John G. Watson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFebruary 18, 1999
SPACE PROBE NAME WINNER WILL RECEIVE COMPUTER GIFT CERTIFICATE
A $4,000 gift certificate for merchandise from CompUSA will
go to the grand prize winner of a contest to name the two
microprobes that comprise NASA's Deep Space 2 mission, which
successfully launched in early January and are now headed toward
Participants in the contest can choose either two people
from history (not living), characters from mythology or fiction,
or two places or things that are in some way associated with each
other, or a combination of any of the above elements.
Submissions should be accompanied by a short written composition
of up to 100 words explaining why the entries would make good
names for the miniature probes. In the case of duplicate names,
the judges' selection will be based on this composition. Final
selection of the probe names will be made by NASA Headquarters.
The deadline is April 30, 1999 and NASA will announce the
winners in early November this year. The top 25 finalists will
receive one copy each of a Deep Space 2 poster signed by project
team leaders. Complete rules, an entry form and further
information about Deep Space 2 are available at http://nmp.jpl.nasa.gov/ds2/
or by writing to: Name the Mars
Microprobe Contest, JPL, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 301-235,
Pasadena, California 91109.
Prize monies, provided by Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co.
and CompUSA, will not be administered through NASA, but rather
will go directly from the donating companies to the winner.
Although NASA, JPL, International Technology Education
Association, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and CompUSA employees and
their families are eligible to enter and win the contest, they
would not be eligible to collect the grand prize, which would go
instead to the first runner-up.
Deep Space 2's probes are piggybacking on the Mars Polar
Lander spacecraft, which launched January 3, and will impact and
penetrate the surface of Mars this December. Each probe has an
entry system consisting of a basketball-sized aeroshell with a
softball-sized probe inside. Released from the cruise stage of
the Mars Polar Lander, the probes will dive toward the surface of
Mars. Unlike any spacecraft before, the probes will smash into
the planet at speeds of up to 200 meters per second (400 miles
per hour). Upon impact, the forebody of each probe will bury
itself up to about one meter (three feet) underground, while the
aftbody remains on the surface to transmit data through the Mars
Global Surveyor spacecraft back to Earth.
The purpose of the mission, which is managed by NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, is to
flight-test new technologies to enable future science missions.
If successful, Deep Space 2 will demonstrate innovative
approaches to entering a planet's atmosphere, surviving a crash-
impact and penetrating below a planet's surface. As a secondary
goal, the probes will search for water ice under Mars' surface.
JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology,