Fantastic Freebies! Let NASA send your name to the Moon!

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When I was a little kid, I desperately wanted to be an astronaut.

Actually, to be honest, I wanted to be an astronaut, get into a major crash, and have large portions of my body replaced with machinery, just like Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man. I decided, however, to leave the latter part out of any application materials that were placed in front of me. After all, "wants to get blown up and put back together" doesn't sound all that good when it's taken out of context.

Anyway, I would visit the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum every time I got a chance. Once there, I would load up on freeze-dried ice cream while staring longingly at the rockets, moon landers, space suits, and other astronaut paraphernalia. Unfortunately, however, science and math tended to bore me, and I'm having a hard time getting support for my "shoot an unknown blogger into space" program.

In the meantime, NASA has a new program which will ensure that my name will go into space, even if the rest of me stays here. The administration's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which will go into space later this year, will orbit the moon, collecting information and looking for ideal landing sites. Ultimately, it's orbit will deteriorate and it will probably crash into the moon. In the meantime, it will also carry a computer chip that is loaded with millions of names. To ensure that yours is among them, simply click on this link, type in your name, and print out or download your free certificate. You need to hurry, though; they're only accepting names until June 27, 2008!

Is this a manipulative gimmick that NASA's using to generate excitement about their latest, incredibly expensive program? Hell, yes! Did that knowledge stop me from sending in my name, as well as my wife and daughters' ? Hell, no! Moon, here I come!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. He thinks that NASA needs to institute a "getting people with imagination, eloquence, and writing skill into space" program. Clearly, the acronym is going to need a little work.
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