A company called Uwingu has for the past 10 weeks enabled people to name some 590,000 craters on Mars. For Mother’s Day, it’s running a “Mothers on Mars” promotion that gets mom a special certificate as well as her own crater name.
The cute campaign is part of a much more serious intention. By naming the craters on Mars, and charging fees of anywhere from $5 to $2,500 for each crater, Uwingu (the Swahili name for “sky”) hopes to promote interest and research in space sciences, and create a new source of funding for astronomy and space exploration.
“We took the public domain map of Mars, cataloged the 1,000 craters that have been named by scientists, and created a way for people to go in and name the rest,” said Alan Stern, co-founder and chief executive of Uwingu. He described Uwingu as “a limited liability corporation with a social mission.”
During the Bush administration, Mr. Stern was the associate administrator at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, directing NASA’s science programs. “I realized that NASA’s stock goes up and down, and the funding changes,” he said. “Many researchers depend on it. Things like medical and energy research have other places to go for funding; this is a way to get that for people who really love space.”
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.