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Crowdsourced Mars Crater Naming Project Launched–500,000 Craters to be Named on New Mars Map
The project aims to generate over $10M in grants to threatened space researchers and educators during budget cuts.
Beginning today, the public can get involved in Mars exploration much the same way. Through Uwingu’s newly redesigned web site at www.uwingu.com, now anyone can help to create the Uwingu’s new Mars map, with names for all the approximately 500,000 unnamed, scientifically catalogued craters on Mars.
In almost 50 years of Mars exploration by spacecraft, only about 15,000 features have been named on Mars by scientists and others around the world. Yet over 500,000 Martian craters catalogued from NASA and European space mission imagery remain unnamed. Uwingu is setting a goal of naming all these unnamed Martian craters and completing its new Mars map before 2015—the 50th anniversary year of humankind’s first missions to Mars.
The completed project aims to generate over $10M in funds for space research and education—larger than any other private space grant program in history.
Uwingu’s Mars map grandfathers in all the already named craters on Mars, but opens the remainder up for naming by people around the globe. Unnamed craters in the Mars database range from under a kilometer across to over 350 kilometers (over 200 miles) across. Craters can be named for almost anything or anyone, including friends, family, co-workers, heroes, pets, places on Earth or in space, sports teams, musical artists.
Says Uwingu’s advisor and Mars scientist Dr. Teresa Segura, “This project is truly groundbreaking for public participation in the exploration of Mars. Only imagination limits your choices, Aad I love that it supports funding for space research and education!”
Prices for naming craters vary, depending on the size of the crater, and begin at $5 dollars.
Uwingu makes a shareable Web link and a naming certificate available to each crater namer for each newly named crater.
“Every crater named on this public Mars map contributes to the Uwingu fund for space research and education”, added Uwingu founder and planetary scientist Dr. Alan Stern, "So name a crater on Mars—and make an impact of your own!”
About Uwingu: Uwingu (which means “sky” in Swahili, and is pronounced “oo-wing-oo”)