You may not be able to fly to Mars yourself, but you can do the next best thing - send your name there. NASA is giving people the opportunity to send their names to the red planet aboard its Mars Rover 2020 mission. In fact, the US space agency is even handing out faux 'boarding passes' to people who register to have their names flown to Mars.
According to NASA, the names will be placed on a microchip that will be sent with a rover on the next mission to Mars.
"When our #Mars2020 rover lands on the Red Planet in 2021, it will carry a microchip etched with the names of millions of people from planet Earth," they said in a tweet on Thursday morning. "There are 20 days left to get your boarding pass and fly your name on our rover," they added.
When our #Mars2020 rover lands on the Red Planet in 2021, it will carry a microchip etched with the names of millions of people from planet Earth. Is yours on it?— NASA (@NASA) September 12, 2019
There are 20 days left to get your boarding pass and fly your name on our rover. Book now: https://t.co/J9lzRs6locpic.twitter.com/ufNp2IkTPf
The news has created quite a buzz on social media, drawing mixed responses. NY Daily News reports that more than 8.8 million people have registered for the 'trip' to Mars.
"As we get ready to launch this historic Mars mission, we want everyone to share in this journey of exploration," said Dr Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington DC, according to the Osprey Observer.
The 1,000-kg rover will search for signs of past microbial life on Mars, characterise the planet's climate and geology and collect samples for future return to Earth, among other things.
The Mars Rover 2020 is scheduled to take off July 17, 2020 and touch down on the red planet on February 18, 2021.
On December 11, 2017, US President Donald Trump signed a directive ordering NASA to prepare to return astronauts to the Moon "followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations." However, sending astronauts to Mars would require a "Herculean effort". This film explores just some of the challenges that the space agency could face on a journey to the red planet.Click for more trending news
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