You can add your name to NASA's list from now until September 30 and receive your boarding pass.
NASA is launching a rover to Mars in July 2020. Government, industry and worldwide partners will join NASA in a global effort to build and test the systems needed for human missions to Mars and beyond. The 2,300 lb rover is created to search for signs of past microbial life, gather data on the planet's climate and geology, and collect samples that will be returned to Earth.
NASA is once again offering the opportunity for the public to send their name into space, this time with a "boarding pass" sent along with the Mars 2020 rover mission. In return, you'll get the "frequent flyer" points.
Each person taking part will also receive a souvenir boarding pass and frequent flyer points, as well as a digital mission patche.
'As we get ready to launch this historic Mars mission, we want everyone to share in this journey of exploration, ' saidThomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The names will not be stored digitally within a chip, but instead etched upon one by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, with the help of an incredibly precise electron beam. The names will be etched on a silicon chip in teeny-tiny text (smaller than the width of a human hair). According to NASA, printing at this scale should allow roughly one million names to fit on a single chip. The chip (or chips) will ride on the rover under a glass cover.
There's a chance that NASA will need to use more than one chip, given that 2.4 million names were submitted to be etched onto the InSight Lander, which landed on Mars in November previous year.
It's part of a campaign to build buzz around NASA's Mars 2020 mission, which is sending a rover to the Red Planet to search for signs of past microbial life, collect samples and study Mars' climate and geology.
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