As a part of the OSIRIS-REx (sic) mission to sample the asteroid Bennu (185911.61 miles away from Earth at its closest point), NASA will send along artwork from Earth loaded onto a hard drive.
NASA is asking artists to come up with artwork based on one (or more) of these three “big questions”:
- What does it mean to be an explorer like OSIRIS-REx?
- What might this mission teach us about ourselves and our universe?
- How are we as a people stretched and deepened by explorations beyond our Earthly home?
Your masterpiece doesn’t have to be Starry Night to earn it’s space on the hard drive. It doesn’t even have to be a painting. It can be a song, a video (uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo), a poem, a photograph or just about anything else. Videos need to be under 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
Submitting your work is easy. Just mention the hashtag #WeTheExplorers when you post your artwork to Twitter (mention @OSIRISREx) or Instagram (@OSIRIS_REX). Submissions will be accepted until Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 11:59 pm PDT or until the hard drive fills up.
OSIRIS-REx will launch in September 2016. It is expected to rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu in August 2018, where it will take measurements and collect data. The next year, it will collect a sample for Bennu’s surface. It will leave Bennu in 2021 and arrive back on Earth in 2023.