Ground Control to Major Tom – Haiku Update

So while I’m hanging out in my igloo, staring at my computer screen under the guise of writing a novel during NaNoWriMo, I get an email about the “Haiku on Mars” submission I wrote about on my blog in May– Ground Control:

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The Red Planet

Dear Going to Mars Participant, (gotta love those personalized notes from editors)

Thank you again for sharing a bit of yourselves in anticipation of MAVEN’s upcoming launch to Mars! As you can see in the attached images:

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Maven gets manicured

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Close-up of the DVD

(photo credits Kennedy Space Center)—your art, haiku, and names submissions have been saved to the special DVD and attached to the MAVEN spacecraft in preparation for launch!

MAVEN’s launch window opens on Monday, November 18, 2013, at 1:28 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). We hope you’ll join us virtually! On Monday, Nov. 18, NASA TV coverage of the launch will begin at 11 a.m. EST and conclude after the MAVEN spacecraft has separated from the Atlas V, which occurs about 52 minutes after launch. Live launch coverage will be carried on all NASA Television channels. For NASA Television downlink information, schedule information, and streaming video, visit: Additional information can also be found at


Best wishes,
The Going to Mars campaign team

When they first posted the “contest,” they were going to choose three winners. The way this article is written, it sounds like they decided to include everyone’s submissions. Perhaps their budget ran short, and they couldn’t afford to pay the judges. 😮

So if you submitted an entry, you, too, can watch it disappear into space as early as this Monday, November 18. Keep your eyes peeled. And don’t worry about the DVD surviving launch and the 20-month trip. Maven’s internal organs will be well insulated by an external shell that will look quite a bit more rocket-like by launch time.

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Eyes to the skies

Now back to staring at my computer screen….


17 thoughts on “Ground Control to Major Tom – Haiku Update

  1. FictionFan says:

    Gosh! (Sadly) I’m incredibly jealous! I remember vividly spending an hour trying deaperately to ‘do’ a Haiku and failing miserably. Oh well, Major Jilanne, I guess I’ll just have to be Ground Control. Enjoy your trip…and put your helmet on… 😀

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      I am no poet, no “real” haiku writer. Just a dabbler who enjoys words and how they’re laid out on the page. I recall some claim that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything, be it gymnastics, economics, or poetry (in your case, haiku). You’ve only got 9,999 hours to go. Put your helmet on. 😀

      • FictionFan says:

        I just had a vision of me doing 10,000 hours worth of gymnastics…haikus seem so much easier now, somehow! You were on the news earlier, by the way…I was able to say ‘I know someone who’s going on that mission.’ A surreal but enjoyable experience…

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