NASA Invites You to Send Your Names Stenciled in Chips to Mars
The US National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) is giving an opportunity to send your names to Mars
stenciled on chips as its Mars 2020 Rover gets ready to touch down in the Red
Planet in February 2021.
The rover, a robotic scientist weighing more than 2,300 pounds (1,000 kilograms), will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.
"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 (SMD) in Washington. "It’s an exciting time
for NASA, as we embark on this voyage to answer profound questions about our
neighbouring planet, and even the origins of life itself.”
The opportunity to send your name to Mars comes with a souvenir boarding pass and "frequent flyer" points. This is part of a public engagement campaign to highlight missions involved with NASA's journey from the Moon to Mars. Miles (or kilometers) are awarded for each "flight," with corresponding digital mission patches available for download. More than 2 million names flew on NASA's InSight mission to Mars, giving each "flyer" about 300 million frequent flyer miles (nearly 500 million frequent flyer kilometers).
From now until Sept. 30, you can add your name to the list and obtain a souvenir boarding pass to Mars here:
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.