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Letters … to Mars!

Hello Mars, I say.  Recently I had the chance to communicate with Martians. Seriously, NASA’s Maven “Going to Mars” campaign let’s you participate by submitting an entry to be burned on a DVD flown aboard the Maven spacecraft on its journey to Mars late in 2013. You can simply send your name and a short message, or write a haiku for Mars. You get to print out a cool Certificate of Participation.

My message was short and sweet, just a hello, but I wish I’d taken time to compose a poem. You still have time, until July 1, to submit greetings.  Throughout July there’s public on-line voting for the top haiku.  Anybody on this planet can participate! Adults 18 and over may create a log-in to submit a name and message, either for themselves or on behalf of their child/student. Only one name and one message per person is permitted, and messages must be in English. The messages are being coordinated at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. The DVD will carry every name submitted, and three haikus selected by the public. This is our chance to make a personal connection to space, space exploration, and science in general. Share the excitement.  So my name is going into orbit! This thrills me. This connects my lifelong interests in science and space and the dream of reaching out, beyond earthly limits.  Find out more on their website.

Closer to earth, is our own From a Birdie, an innovative interaction-based Slow Web way of communicating: Letters electronically written and delivered in a web-based album on the day of your choice.

Dear me, Who to get personal with? With whom? I have to make a list – people to be tender to, people to honor, people to acknowledge, to support, to woo. Letters of connection, even those I don’t have the guts to send, letters conceptual. I’m taking the time.

And you can also create an album for a closer friend.

And why is it easier for me to write a message to Mars than finish my letter to Massachusetts?

Roberta Fountain