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SAY MY NAME, ALIEN SCUM. NASA to send 'you' into SPAAACE...

How to visit an asteroid without leaving your sofa

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So you've always wanted to go to space, but don't want to die on Mars alongside a load of other explorers on a suicide mission?

Now you can get part of the way there after NASA offered wannabe space travellers the chance to send their name up to the asteroid Bennu.

The space agency's OSIRIS-REx mission will blast off in 2016 with the aim of answering questions about the early solar system and helping to uncover where the organic materials and water that make life possible came from.

It is also hoped the mission will help boffins understand the movement of asteroids so they can save Earth from some future apocalypse.

A NASA craft will collect at least two ounces (60g) of material from the comet, put it in a capsule and then send it back to Earth.

The satellite will then orbit the Sun, along with the names of the people who get the right to send their name up into space.

"We're thrilled to be able to share the OSIRIS-REx adventure with people across the Earth, to Bennu and back," said Dante Lauretta, principal investigator of the OSIRIS-REx mission from the University of Arizona in Tucson. "It's a great opportunity for people to get engaged with the mission early and join us as we prepare for launch."

How do you take part in this exciting opportunity? Simple, just follow or like to mission on Facebook.

"It is exciting to consider the possibility that some of the people who register to send their names to Bennu could one day be a part of the team that analyzes the samples from the asteroid 10 years from now," said Jason Dworkin, mission project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. ®

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