The Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will travel to the near-Earth asteroid currently called (101955) 1999 RQ36 -- not a very catchy name is it?
The simulated asteroid image of (101955) 1999 RQ36 (see above) is credited to NASA/GSFC/UA.
For this reason, NASA is conducting a contest for all students around the world to give this asteroid a good name.
The OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2016. More information about the mission, along with a video, is found at "NASA to Launch New Science Mission to Asteroid in 2016".
The asteroid that the NASA spacecraft will travel to -- (101955) 1999 RQ36 -- was discovered in 1999 by scientists using the Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) survey at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory.
The asteroid has an average diameter of approximately 493 meters (about one-third of a mile).
Jason Dworkin, an OSIRIS-REx project scientist, states, "Because the samples returned by the mission will be available for study for future generations, it is possible the person who names the asteroid will grow up to study the regolith we return to Earth."
NASA states, "the competition is open to students under age 18 from anywhere in the world. Each contestant can submit one name, up to 16 characters long. Entries must include a short explanation and rationale for the name. Submissions must be made by an adult on behalf of the student."
The contest is sponsored by NASA, along with the Planetary Society (Pasadena, California); the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory (Lexington, Massachusetts); and the University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona).
Page two concludes with the website to visit to enter the contest to name this asteroid.