Up to 3,000 drawings will be shrunk down by a factor of about 1,000 and engraved on the metal plaques that will fly into space on Cheops. If more than 3,000 entries are received, ESA and its partners will organize a lottery to select the drawings for engraving. The art needs to be in black-and-white, created with a black pencil or felt-tip pen, to ensure that the engraving process accurately captures the drawings as they are transferred to the metal plaques.
To take part, download and print out a standard template provided here, make your drawing on it, and complete your contact details. Then send it via letter to a local Cheops mission partner institution or to ESA directly. Entries will be accepted until 31 October 2015, and the postmark will be considered proof of the date of posting.
Cheops – for CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite – is a space telescope that will observe nearby stars known to host planets, and is being built as a collaboration between ESA’s Science Programme and Switzerland. The planned launch date is at the end of 2017.