I'm going to Mars next year!
Well, my name is
It will be years before the first humans set foot on the Red Planet. And those who do will require thorough training (or very deep pockets).
As a consolation prize for the rest of us, NASA offers the flight for your name, engraved on a microchip, on the Mars 2020 rover.
The spaceship will be launched as early as next summer and should land on Earth's twin planet in February 2021.
"As we prepare to launch this historic mission to Mars, we want everyone to share this journey of exploration," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate director for the Directorate of NASA's scientific mission (SMD), said in a statement.
Sign up before September 30th to receive a souvenir embarkation card, which you can download, print and frame, pretending that your childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut have not been crushed.
Scientists from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory will use an electron beam to stencil the names sent on a silicon chip. Each line of text is one thousandth smaller than the width of a human hair, leaving more than a million names on a single chip the size of a penny.
The component (s) will turn on the rover under a glass cover.
If your John Hancock is stamped on the capsule, you will earn "frequent flyer" points (unfortunately not transferable on land flights).
More than 2 million names have traveled on NASA's InSight mission to Mars, earning every "flyer" around 300 million miles.
Corresponding patches for digital missions are also available for download.
NASA has chosen the Jezero crater as a landing site for the Mars 2020 rover, a robotic scientist that weighs more than 2,300 pounds.
The probe will look for signs of the past microbial lift, will characterize the climate and the geology of the planet, collect samples for future return to Earth and finally open the way for human exploration.
"It is an exciting time for NASA," said Zurbuchen, "as we embark on this journey to answer deep questions about our neighboring planet and even the origins of life itself."
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