When NASA’s InSight lander reaches Mars in November of 2018, it will carry with it hundred of thousands of names from members of the public.
According to NASA, in 2015 nearly 827,000 people signed up to add their names to a silicon microchip onboard the robotic spacecraft.
But now, NASA is adding a second microchip, giving the public an additional chance to send their names to Mars.
When NASA’s InSight lander lands on Mars in November of 2018, it will carry with it hundred of thousands of names from members of the public. The InSight lander will also be carrying several scientific instruments, and will be the first mission to explore Mars’ deep interior
NASA’s InSight mission, scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in May of 2018, will be the first mission to explore Mars’ deep interior.
It will carry several scientific instrument to collect data, and a microchip containing thousands of names from members of the public.
The lander will use a seismometer to detect marsquakes and meteor strikes, using the seismic energy of these phenomena to study material far below the Martian surface.
It will also deploy a self-hammering heat probe that will burrow deeper into the ground than previous landers.
According to NASA, these and other InSight investigations will improve our understanding about the formation and evolution of all rocky planets, including Earth.
New submissions for names are accepted here until November 1, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET).
The InSight lander will be carrying several scientific instruments along with the names, and will be the first mission to explore Mars’ deep interior.
It’s scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in May of 2018.
‘Mars continues to excite space enthusiasts of all ages,’ said Bruce Banerdt, the InSight mission’s principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
‘This opportunity lets them become a part of the spacecraft that will study the inside of the Red Planet.’
The fly-your-name opportunity comes with ‘frequent flier’ points reflecting a person’s participation in NASA’s exploration of Mars.
These points span multiple mission and multiple decades, and participants who send their names on the previous InSight opportunity in 2015 can download a ‘boarding pass’ and see their ‘frequent flier’ miles.
An example of a ‘boarding pass’ that members of the public can download by participating in NASA’s Frequent Fliers program. With each NASA mission that flies their names, individuals can accumulate ‘miles’ on their boarding pass
As part of this frequent flier program, a chip carrying the names of 1.38 million people also flew aboard the first flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft in 2014 – a spacecraft built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before, according to NASA.
NASA’s aims for Orion to carry astronauts to deep space destinations that will enable future missions to Mars and beyond.
After InSight, the next chance to earn frequent flier points will be NASA’s Exploration Mission-1, the first flight bringing together the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to travel thousands of miles beyond the Moon in preparation for human missions to Mars and beyond.