More Than 1.1 Million Names Installed on NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

A person in a clean suit places a plaque on the side of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft, while three other clean-suited people look on.
A memory card containing 1,137,202 names submitted by the public to travel to the Sun was installed on Parker Solar Probe on May 18, 2018. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

Throughout its seven-year mission, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will swoop through the Sun’s atmosphere 24 times, getting closer to our star than any spacecraft has gone before. The spacecraft will carry more than scientific instruments on this historic journey — it will also hold more than 1.1 million names submitted by the public to go to the Sun.

“Parker Solar Probe is going to revolutionize our understanding of the Sun, the only star we can study up close,” said Nicola Fox, project scientist for Parker Solar Probe at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland. “It’s fitting that as the mission undertakes one of the most extreme journeys of exploration ever tackled by a human-made object, the spacecraft will also carry along the names of so many people who are cheering it on its way.”

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