We all know what happens when you ask the public to name things: you get ships called Boaty McBoatFace or whales called Mr Splashy Pants.
So Nasa is taking no risks in its new bid to get the public involved in a pioneering space mission.
It has roped in Captain Kirk (or William Shatner, as he’s known in this universe) to invite members
Now, you might think this will lead to a rush of people called things like Al Coholic or Ivanna Tinkle.
But the brightest minds of Nasa will be sure to check over the names before they are placed on a microchip and blasted off board Nasa’s Parker Solar Probe mission, which is set to ‘touch the sun’ and travel closer to our star than any spaceship in human history.
‘This probe will journey to a region humanity has never explored before,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
‘This mission will answer questions scientists have sought to uncover for more than six decades.’
The spacecraft is about the size of a small car and will travel directly into the Sun’s ‘atmosphere’ to a distance of about 4 million miles from the star’s surface.
Nasa wrote: ‘The primary science goals for the mission are to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.
‘The mission will revolutionize our understanding of the Sun, where changing conditions can spread out into the solar system, affecting Earth and other worlds.’