Organizers of World Space Week, in keeping with their theme of “Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth,” are planning to literally bring two worlds together in order to send a powerful message about the importance of and broad support for interplanetary exploration and scientific understanding of the solar system. They need your help to collect an “Earth master sample” that will be made into a unique set of crystals that are part Earth and part Mars.

To participate, simply collect a fist-size rock sample from wherever you are, note the geographical coordinates of the site, take photos of it, and send the sample to arrive at the Austrian Space Forum by November 15. (Detailed instructions about exactly how to go about this and the information needed can be found on the Forum’s website.)

earth sample

When the samples come in they will be ground into dust, along with a Mars meteorite, then made into crystals by renowned jeweler Swarovski Elements. The 100 Earth/Mars crystals will be unveiled at next April’s Yuri’s Day observance, then presented to policy makers, thought leaders, and space agency officials around the globe as reminders of our thirst for knowledge about Earth, Mars, and the rest of the solar system.

“By demonstrating the support for this campaign, we can show decision makers that Mars exploration is something that humanity—across all borders and cultural divides—really wants to achieve,” said Remco Timmermans, executive director of the World Space Week Association.  

The Earth Master Sample effort is a project of World Space Week Association, KiwiSpace Foundation, Space Generation Advisory Council, and Austrian Space Forum.