Last week, I introduced the latest effort from Uwingu, an organization dedicated to providing funding for space research and education. Its Mars Crater Naming Project gives anyone the opportunity to name any of the some 500,000 unnamed craters on the Red Planet in an effort to raise $10 million for future Uwingu-provided grants.
Today, Uwingu is announcing even bigger news: The company is partnering with Mars One to bring the future Uwingu Mars Map to the surface of the neighboring world. The not-for-profit Red Planet exploration foundation will use the results of the Uwingu Mars Crater Naming Porject in all its missions and will land that map on the Red Planet on its first unmanned Mars lander.
Mars One’s human mission to Mars is one of the projects already supported by Uwingu. Bas Lansdorp, Mars One co-founder and CEO, said in a press release: “We’re very enthusiastic about the partnership with Uwingu. Like Mars One, Uwingu gives everyone around the world the opportunity to participate in Mars exploration. The name you choose will go down in history, traveling to Mars on board our 2018 lander and will be used by our future astronauts. What an amazing opportunity!”
Added Uwingu founder and CEO Alan Stern, a planetary scientist and the former head of NASA’s science program: “This partnership catapults Uwingu’s Mars crater naming database and Mars maps into the forefront of private Mars exploration! Every person who names craters on Mars at www.uwingu.com will now know that their crater names are planned to be used in the exploration and hoped for settlement of Mars. At Uwingu, we are very excited about actually flying our map to Mars in 2018.”
Members of Astronomy's staff have already joined the effort to raise money for space research and education by naming some Mars craters, and with today's announcement, those monikers might just catch on with potential future Mars One missions. Find out how you can participate as well at www.uwingu.com.