It looks to me like, following the recent shuttle disaster, NASA is desperate to do anything to get today's youth interested in becoming astronauts instead of firemen, policemen, or garbage collectors.
Thanks to Cory for sending the following email.
"I was visiting the Deep Impact website and thought you might find this interesting...
Send Your Name to a Comet!
NASA's Deep Impact mission will dig deep beneath the surface of a comet for a first-ever look at dust and ice from the early formation of the solar system. And your name can be part of the Deep Impact! From now until January of 2004, you can enter your name to be recorded on a disc and attached to the side of the copper projectile - the impactor spacecraft. Your name on the impactor will cause a spectacular crater on Comet Tempel 1 up to the length of a football stadium and several stories deep.
In July of 2005, the Deep Impact encounter will be an event that everyone can take part in by watching images from the impactor's sister spacecraft as they are sent down to Earth in near real time. If you want to know that your name went to a comet and became part of one of the most exciting events in the history of space exploration, then sign up now on Send Your Name to a Comet and tell all your friends so they can sign up too. We'll even provide you with an email announcement so you can contact your friends and relatives about this campaign.
Deep Impact is a NASA Discovery Mission, eighth in a series of low-cost, highly focused space science investigations.
For more information about the campaign, please visit http://deepimpact.jpl.nasa.gov/sendyourname/index.html.
For more information about the Deep Impact mission, please visit http://deepimpact.jpl.nasa.gov."