First tourists were paying big bucks to visit the International Space Station?now the Japanese are arranging for people to autograph an asteroid.

The Japanese Muses-C spacecraft is the first craft designed to visit an asteroid and return to Earth after taking geological samples. It will be ready for takeoff in November or December and will land on asteroid SF36 in 2005. “The mission to return a sample of the asteroid to Earth is a bold and scientifically valuable undertaking,” says Louis Friedman, executive director of the Planetary Society.

You can?t go along for the ride, but the Planetary Society of Japan hopes that at least a million people from all over the world will send their names out into space. The names will be etched on an aluminum foil sheet inside a softball-sized ball that will ride along with the probe. The ball filled with names will be dropped onto the asteroid, where it will serve as a navigation landmark for the descending spacecraft.

If you want to autograph an asteroid,click here.

Space travel may soon become common, but time travel? Some people say it can already by done. To find out if that?s true, read ?Time Travel? by J.H. Brennan, click here.

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