NASA issued an open invitation to all space fans to take part in its next robotic mission to the Red Planet in March, 2016. According to the space agency, the next robotic lander to conduct scientific experiments on Mars will be called InSight.
InSight’s main goal is to analyze the core of the planet and gather more information on seismic activity or the so called “Marsquakes.”
But under the “Send Your Name to Mars” initiative, all participants would be able to request NASA to embed their names on a silicon microchip which would be carried by the probe to the Red Planet starting March 4, 2015.
InSight lander is designed to “listen to the heart of Mars,” as NASA engineers put it.
Now, anybody can put their names on a thumbnail-sized microchip that would be ferried from Earth to the Red Planet and left there for eternity. NASA announced that future missions to Mars would hold similar invitations.
NASA’s Jim Green explained that anybody who will take part into this opportunity would show that they are also part of Mars and space exploration missions. In just 24 hours since the initial announcement, more than 65,000 people agreed to have their names sent to Mars.
You can still sign up for the opportunity on NASA’s site until Sept. 8. After you have sign up, you can gain access to a nice boarding pass that testifies that you checked in for that mission. Every mission you take part in would grant you “frequent flier” points that would feature on each of your future boarding passes.
Next NASA missions would span over many decades, so you will have to be more than patient. But InSight is not the first NASA mission to allow the public get their names to Mars. The first mission to allow space exploration enthusiasts send their name to space was the un-manned ORION EFT-1 mission that was launched late last year.
During the ORION EFT-1 campaign more than 1.3 million people from all corners of the world asked for their names to be put on the silicon chip aboard of the spacecraft that would eventually take humans to Mars by 2030.
Nevertheless, you should seize this opportunity while it is hot since the next one would not come sooner that 2018, when the next un-manned Orion capsule, Orion EM-1, is slated to lift off to the Red Planet.
Orion EM-1 will be launched atop of the monster SLS rocket, which was recently tested by NASA engineers in a short test firing on August 13.
Image Source: Physics Forme
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