You can send your names on NASA's next mission to Mars. Are you excited?
Washington, May 30: Ready to go to Mars? Are you excited about it? Well, your name can definitely go on the next rover when NASA sends to the Red Planet. Yes you heard it right.
NASA is currently preparing for another major mission, one that will see them sending a spacecraft to Mars once more in 2020.
Although it will take years before the first humans set foot on Mars, NASA is giving the public an opportunity to send their names - stenciled on chips - to the Red Planet with NASA's Mars 2020 rover, which represents the initial leg of humanity's first round trip to another planet.
The rover is scheduled to launch as early as July 2020, with the spacecraft expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021.
Meanwhile, the etching will be tiny. At about one-thousandth the width of a human hair, the size will let NASA etch more than a million names on just one of the rover's chips.
The Microdevices Laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, will use an electron beam to stencil the submitted names onto a silicon chip with lines of text smaller than one-thousandth the width of a human hair (75 nanometers). At that size, more than a million names can be written on a single dime-size chip. The chip (or chips) will ride on the rover under a glass cover.
However, this isn't the first time. They previously allowed "passengers" this way on board the Mars 2018 mission, as well as when it sent the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to asteroid Bennu.
From now until Sept. 30, you can add your name to the list and obtain a souvenir boarding pass to Mars here:
NASA will use Mars 2020 and other missions to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.