NASA Opening Session with Lori Glaze & US Poet Laureate Ada Limón – Photo by Hutton Supancic

Explore Space & Poetry with NASA & Poet Laureate Ada Limón | SXSW 2024

Sending an Inspirational Message Into Deep Space

How often can you say you had an exclusive first look at an object being sent into deep space? That was the opportunity attendees had at the Opening Session of the 2024 SXSW Conference.

Director of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division, Lori Glaze, and the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States, Ada Limón, took to the SXSW stage on March 8 to unveil a piece of history that will be aboard NASA's Europa Clipper. The goal of this NASA rover is to determine whether Jupiter's second moon, Europa, could support life.

Ada Limón spoke about the similarities the arts share with space and how there is beauty and surrender in exploring the unknown.

"Poetry doesn't exist in the answers at all. It literally gives space for 'an unknowning.' It can feel grounding, uplifting, or soothing, even when there is something disruptive within it, because it feels like a space to reflect. It feels like a space to actually hold the mess. And I think in that way, it goes really well with exploration because you don’t know what’s going to happen." - Ada Limón

Since the beginning of space exploration, inspirational messages have traveled aboard NASA spacecrafts. In keeping with this tradition, Limón's poem will be riding along with the Europa Clipper as well as engraved designs representing recordings of the word "water" in a diverse collection of human languages, co-signatures from over 2.6 million people from around the world, and more.

"If we already knew all the answers it wouldn't be science." – Lori Glaze

Embrace the mystery with Limón and Glaze. Watch the entire Opening Session, Explore Space & Poetry With NASA & Poet Laureate Ada Limón, below and experience the moment Limón shares a piece of history that is set to launch into deep space in October 2024.

Explore Space & Poetry With NASA & Poet Laureate Ada Limón

With a long history of sending inspirational messages out to the depths of space, it's only fitting that NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft launching in October 2024 will continue this tradition by including an engraved poem by US Poet Laureate Ada Limón.


Learn more about this mission and listen to the sound recordings at

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Photo by Hutton Supancic

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