The Planetary Society organizes space-related contests as a fun way to get the public involved with space exploration. Art and essay contests invite people to imagine the new worlds we'll explore. Naming contests have given members of the general public a chance give names to missions and space objects, including Magellan, Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and the asteroids Bonestell, Nereus, and Braille. Other contests challenge people to employ wit, skill, and luck in games that give the public a personal stake in the outcome of our collective efforts to explore space.
OSIRIS-REx is going to fly to an asteroid and bring back some pieces. Its asteroid target used to be named 1999 RQ36, The Planetary Society, MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, and the University of Arizona asked students around the world to suggest better names for the asteroid. The winning name, "Bennu," was submitted by 9-year-old Mike Puzio of North Carolina.
Submissions were due March 1st, 2013.
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