Hey Los Angeles, Let’s Name A Space Telescope!

GLASTlogo.jpgNASA is holding a contest to name the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, aka GLAST, prior to its launch on May 16, 2008 from Cape Canaveral. From the Nasa contest page:

GLAST is designed to probe the most violent events and exotic objects in the cosmos from gamma-ray bursts to black holes and beyond.

“We’re looking for suggestions that will capture the excitement of GLAST’s mission and call attention to gamma-ray and high-energy astronomy,” says Alan Stern, associate administrator for Science at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC. “We hope someone will come up with a name that is catchy, easy to say and will help make the satellite and its mission a topic of dinner table and classroom discussion.”

Let’s make it a group effort and come up with something groovy and LA-y. The contest ends March 31 so we have a while to come up with something fab. The mission is expected to last a minimum of five years, but NASA’s goal is to keep it going for ten. Wouldn’t you be stoked if the name you (we) came up with could be part of NASA lingo for ten years?!?! Of course you would. Let’s do it! Let those ideas rip in the comments and I’ll update this as we get closer to March 31. We’ll get a certificate just for participating.

If you want to cut to the chase and just send your own suggestion, here is the entry page.

More cool images and info to help us come up with a name, after the jump.

(GLAST logo is public domain.)

Here she is in all her virtual mock-up glory:
(Image courtesy of the principle manufacturer, SpectrumAstro. You want to click for bigger, I know you do.)

The name can be an acronym, though it’s not required, but could be fun. GLAST can be named after a scientist but the scientist must not be alive. (NASA tradition.) If suggesting a dead scientist’s name, that person cannot have anything else named for them already.

NASA begs you to consider the following when thinking of names:

∞The name should capture the excitement of GLAST’s mission, bringing attention to gamma rays and high-energy astronomy.
∞The name should be catchy, something that people will talk about.
∞Make it simple and easy to say. Nothing says complex and inaccessible like a mouthful of acronyms.
∞Finally, the name must be original and not associated with any past, present or future astronomical observatory or space mission (domestic or international) or any NASA program. Sorry, Voyager fans!

For a full mission brief on GLAST, check out the “Exploring the Extreme Universe” site at NASA.

For more Q&A info about Glast from NASA, click here. Something about “probing dark matter” and studying “Blazars” really gets my creative juices flowing. How about you? Plus here is my favorite Q of the Q&A:

The LAT is a 3-ton detector with almost a million channels of electronics, but it uses less than half the power of an ordinary hair dryer.

For some rockin’ video inspiration, click here and choose “GLAST launch and deployment”.

There are two instruments aboard GLAST, the Large Area Telescope (LAT) (Look, LA is already there!) and the Glast Burst Monitor (GBM). Read a bit more about the GBM right here.

Another Image from NASA of all her shiny glory (click for bigger shiny-ness!):

Ooooh, shiny!

10 thoughts on “Hey Los Angeles, Let’s Name A Space Telescope!”

  1. I thought doing something LA centric could be fun since we are the center of the universe (kidding so stay off my back).

    Then I saw the first comment. Gamma Gamma Hey has my vote. Too funny and certainly fulfills the catchy phrase part of the equation.

  2. The Reggie after the alligator? Cool.

    I am digging Gamma Gamma Hey though Fraz did have to explain it to me — I excel at things other than musical history. But does it have direct ties to Los Angeles? I’m not going to be all strict about it and we can send in multiple ideas…just wondering.

    I keep trying to fit Angelyne in there somehow….

    Keep them coming!

Comments are closed.