Out of this world: The rover will carry millions of Earthlings’ names to Mars in 2020

Out of this world: The rover will carry millions of Earthlings’ names to Mars in 2020

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Not everyone can be an astronaut. But millions of people around the globe are a part of NASA’s next space mission!

In July, NASA will be launching its Mars 2020 rover to the red planet.

Before take-off, though, they’ve asked people to sign up to get their name etched on a micro-chip that will then be affixed onto the rover.

The deadline to sign up is Monday night at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.

NASA said they’ll use an electron beam to stencil the names on a silicon chip with lines of text smaller than one-thousandth the width of a human hair.

Why go to all the trouble? It’s a way for the public to be a part of the mission.

“As we get ready to launch this historic Mars mission we want everyone to share in this journey of exploration,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission directorate in Washington.

“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.”

After filling out the online form, participants also receive a souvenir boarding pass and “frequent flyer” miles.

So far, over 10 million people have signed up, including celebrities like Brad Pitt.

NASA is stenciling in thousands of names onto a chip that will be placed onto its Mars rover.
NASA is stenciling in thousands of names onto a chip that will be placed onto its Mars rover. (Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA says the rover will launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and land in the Jezero Crater on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021.

The duration of its mission will last for at least one Mars year (about 687 Earth days.)

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