CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WFLA) – NASA isn’t quite ready to send humans to Mars yet, but they are still inviting people to “join” them on their next journey to the Red Planet.
NASA scientists are currently getting ready to send a rover to Mars. The rover will launch from Cape Canaveral in either July or August 2020 and is expected to land on Mars in February 2021.
As they prepare for the upcoming mission, NASA is inviting the public to send their names into space with the rover. Names will be stenciled on silicon chips that will ride on the rover under a glass cover. An electron beam will be used to stencil the chips. The lines of text will be smaller than one-thousandth the width of a human hair, according to NASA.
“As we get ready to launch this historic Mars mission, we want everyone to share in this journey of exploration,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “It’s an exciting time for NASA, as we embark on this voyage to answer profound questions about our neighboring planet and even the origins of life itself.”
Anyone who signs up to send their name to Mars will be given a souvenir boarding pass. They will also be awarded “frequent flyer” points that will unlock digital mission patches that are available to be downloaded.
You can sign up to add your name to NASA’s list until Sept. 30, 2019. So far, more than 5 million people have submitted their names.