Get Ready for Take Off

Adler launching rocket Sunday named in a NBC Chicago contest

So how'd you like to name your own rocket? And then watch it go into space to take pictures of our planet  live on  this Sunday.

That's exactly what Patrick O'Connor will be doing when the Pegasus rocket named Mercator is launched for a mapping mission in space. The Chicago man's name was chosen as part of contest that Adler and NBC 5 put together this month.

Gerardus Mercator was Flemish geographer who lived in Germany. He invented the Mercator projection of maps of the globe.

O'Connor says he he's pretty sure he's the first member of the general public to name one of their rockets.

 The two-year mission will begin from the Kwajalein Atoll, a part of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Called the Interstellar Boundary Explorer or IBEX, the spacecraft will conduct extremely high-altitude orbits above Earth to investigate and capture images of processes taking place at the farthest reaches of the solar system. Known as the interstellar boundary, this region marks where the solar system meets interstellar space.

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