NASA is getting ready to launch a new spacecraft to explore Mars, called the InSight lander. Apart from collecting new scientific data regarding the Red Planet, the ship will have another role as well. The space agency has invited everybody interested to send their names, and have them shipped on the spacecraft. Their name will not only reach Mars, but they will also receive a surprise.
Get your name on a microchip aboard the InSight lander
On October 2nd, NASA opened the list for the people who wanted to get a chance to have their name sent to Mars. The applications are open until November 1st so, if you are interested, you can still send your name to NASA and have it shipped on the InSight lander.
Each name will be put into a microchip made of silicon, which will travel with InSight, and reach Mars together with it. There are already 1.2 million people who have signed up, but there’s room for more. However, this is not only about a symbolic gesture of having your name sent into space.
Each participant will get a special boarding pass
In 2014, the Orion spacecraft was sent on its first flying test, and it was launched into space together with 1.38 million names enclosed in a chip. This is some sort of tradition at NASA for all ships which should come to transport people in space. Therefore, those who send their name for the InSight lander will receive a ‘boarding pass’ where they can collect info future missions.
Firstly, the pass will display the number of miles InSight flew in its mission. Also, it will give the owner the opportunity to be part of future NASA missions. Therefore, each time they sign up for a new one, the boarding pass will add more miles flown by more spacecrafts. Someday, maybe the pass will earn them a place on a special travel mission to the Red Planet.
Image Source: JPL – NASA