NASA is sending people's names to a moon of Jupiter called Europa. The spacecraft Europa Clipper will set off for Europa in October 2024. The 2.6-billion-kilometre voyage through the heavens will take six years. Sending the names is part of a time-capsule project called "Message in a Bottle". A piece of poetry called, "In Praise of Mystery: A Poem for Europa" will also go into space. NASA said: "The poem connects the two water worlds – Earth, yearning to reach out and understand what makes a world habitable, and Europa, waiting with secrets yet to be explored."
More 700,000 people have sent their name to NASA. Engineers will use an electron beam to write them on a tiny silicon microchip. Each line of text is less than 1/1000th of the width of a human hair. NASA said: "The poem and names will be like a message in a bottle as they make about 50 close flybys of [Europa's] ocean world." The Europa Clipper spacecraft will gather data on Europa's atmosphere, icy crust and ocean. NASA said: "Europa is such a promising place to better understand the astro-biological potential for habitable worlds beyond Earth."