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Public asked to name Nasa mission to probe Uranus – and the responses are hilarious

SPACE fans have had a field day on social media after they were asked to submit names for a proposed Nasa probe to Uranus.

An unofficial Twitter account promoting the space agency’s future missions requested suggestions from its followers on Saturday.


The Uranus Orbiter and Probe is a mission concept to study the planet and its moonsCredit: Nasa

The account, Ice Giant Missions, shared some of the funniest replies as floods of people got in touch with tongue-in-cheek proposals.

Referencing the now-infamous “Boaty McBoatface” online poll, one of the most popular answers was “Probey McProbeface.”

Others included “Bootylicious”, “Deep Dive”, “Touranus” and a nod to a joke in The Simpsons in the form of “Seymore Butts”.

Some submitters got a little more creative with acronyms that spell out rude words.

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Popular among them were “Advanced New Uranus Space mission (A.N.U.S.)” and “Better Uranus Telemetry Tracking (B.U.T.T.)”.

But while a Uranus-bound probe is ripe for lewd jokes, the majority of responses were sincere suggestions.

Among those were “Loki” and “Odin”, gods in Norse mythology who defeated ice giants.

“Hermes”, the Greek god of adventure and travel, was also put forward by one space fan.

Nasa currently has no concrete plans to return to Uranus, but a mission to the distant ice giant is not out of the question.

Earlier this year, a panel of experts from the US National Academies recommended a mission to Uranus in its decadal report to Nasa.

The spacey agency last visited the planet in 2015 when its New Horizons spacecraft performed a quick flyby.

Nasa has previously sent dedicated probes to study Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

Though the weekend’s parody poll was just a bit of fun, asking the web to name scientific missions has become a popular way to drive public interest and engagement in recent years.

In 2016, a now-infamous online poll went awry after voters were asked to name a £200million scientific research ship.

Netizens were asked to submit and vote for suggestions by the United Kingdom’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The poll backfired, however, when the winning name put forward by a member of the public turned out to be “Boaty McBoatface”.

The suggestion went on to amass 124,109 votes after being entered as a joke.

The second most popular choice, Poppy-Mai, had 34,371, and Henry Worsley was third with 15,231.

Fourth choice was the equally comedic RRS It’s Bloody Cold Here.

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Much to the disappointment of voters, the NERC U-turned on its promise and instead named the ship “The RRS David Attenborough.”

As a consolation, a small, robotic underwater vehicle launched from the new vessel was named Boaty McBoatface instead.

In 2016, an online poll asked netizens to suggest and vote for the name of a £200m research vessel. The winning entry was 'Boaty McBoatface'


In 2016, an online poll asked netizens to suggest and vote for the name of a £200m research vessel. The winning entry was ‘Boaty McBoatface’Credit: Splash

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