NASA is organizing an English-haiku contest and is now accepting entries, with the best three poems being sent aboard a space probe that will orbit Mars.
NASA opened the contest at the beginning of May and people who are interested in the contest can send their poems until July 1, when the competition will close.
Haiku is a very short form of Japanese poetry and the English haiku, also called a three-line poem, is popular in the United States and Europe. In Japanese, haiku are usually printed in a single vertical line while haiku in English often appear in three lines to parallel the three phrases of Japanese haiku.
NASA is also collecting names that will appear on the DVD. All applicants can load their names on the DVD.
The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) will be launched in November and will explore the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind, NASA says.
Japan has attempted similar efforts. In 1998, Japan’s first Mars probe, Nozomi, was launched, carrying the names of about 270,000 people, the international press reports. But the probe did not enter the orbit around Mars and is now orbiting somewhere else.
For details of NASA’s haiku contest, visit the “Going to Mars with MAVEN” website.