My poem has arrived at Mars!

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I'm exploring the Solar System

My name is on several spacecraft, including probes to the Moon, a comet and the planets. It's also on the New Horizons spacecraft which is on its way to Pluto, though it won't arrive until July 2015.

I'm also on four spacecraft that have landed on Mars. My name is on the CD-ROMs on the landing platforms of the Mars Exploration Rovers, "Spirit" and "Opportunity". It's on a mini-DVD on the Phoenix lander, which touched down in the Martian arctic in 2008, and it's on a microchip on the latest rover, the Mars Science Laboratory, "Curiosity".


NASA's latest spacecraft to Mars is "MAVEN", the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission. It will orbit the planet, examining the Martian upper atmosphere, the ionosphere, and interactions with the Sun and the solar wind. Scientists hope the data from MAVEN will help them understand the history of the Martian atmosphere, and how that has affected the evolution of Mars.

The mission is led by the Laboratory for Atmosphere and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado in Boulder. you can find out about the mission at their website at

MAVEN was launched on November 18, 2013, and inserted into orbit around Mars early on September 22, 2014.

My name is included with those of other mission supporters on a DVD fitted to the spacecraft, as shown in this picture.

However the Education and Outreach team came up with something extra. They invited people to submit a poem to be included on the DVD.

The poem had to be in the form of a Japanese Haiku, consisting of 3 lines. The 1st and 3rd lines had to be 5 syllables and the middle line 7 syllables.

My entry is shown below.



Originally only 3 poems were to be included on the DVD.

Over 12,500 haiku were submitted from around the world during May and June. The top entries were to be selected by public voting, which was open from July 15 to 29, with the three winners being announced on August 8.

Then the organisers decided to make some changes.

The first change was that there would be not 3 but 5 main winners.

Over 39,000 votes were cast, with British blogger Benedict Smith gaining first place with 2,031. I have written to congratulate him!

Just over 1,100 entries (8.8%) received more than two votes and the organisers decided that all these entries will be included on the DVD.

That means that my poem was included to go to Mars!!!

If you voted for my poem, thank you for your support.

If you are interested in the exploration of Mars, then why not join the Mars Society UK.
You can find more details about the society here.

If you'd like to book a "Mission To Mars" workshop for your school or as a team-building exercise for your organisation then contact me. You can find more details here.


If you are interested in arranging a presentation on space exploration,
or booking an exciting and inspiring day of space activities

contact me at

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