Zee Media Bureau/Liji Varghese
Washington: Netherlands based non-profit organization Mars One has signed a deal with space-funding company Uwingu to use a new "People`s Map of Mars" for all of its missions to the Red planet.
Uwingu, for its mapping project, has invited Internet users to name any one of the 500,000 unnamed scientifically catalogued Martian craters by paying a fee of USD 5 for the smallest one. The price will go up depending on the size of the carter.
The company aims to complete the new Martian map before 2015 that marks the 50th anniversary year of humankind`s first mission to Mars.
According to the company, the project could help generate over USD 10 million in funds for space research and education.
In exchange for carrying Uwingu`s map to Mars on all of its missions, Mars One will receive a portion of the funds generated by the naming project, officials said.
Uwingu founder and CEO Dr. Alan Stern, a planetary scientist and the former head of NASA`s science programs said that this partnership catapults Uwingu`s Mars crater naming database and Mars maps into the forefront of Mars exploration.
Stern said that every person who names craters on Mars will now know that their crater names are to be used in the exploration and eventual settlement of Mars.
Bas Lansdorp, Mars One Co-Founder and CEO said, "Uwingu gives everyone around the world the opportunity to participate in space exploration. The name you choose will go down in history, travelling on board our 2018 mission lander and will be used by our future astronauts. What an amazing opportunity!"
The company aims to launch a robotic lander and orbiter toward the Red Planet to demonstrate some of the technologies required for human missions in 2018. Further unmanned efforts will blast off in 2020 and 2022, before launching four carefully selected applicants in a Mars-bound spaceflight in 2025.