Using an internet connection on your phone or PC and around one minute to enter your details, you can have your name sent to Mars – literally.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has invited people from all over the world to submit their names to be included on a microchip on the InSight probe’s mission to the Red Planet in March next year.
You can submit your name on Send Your Name to Mars by simply entering your name and surname, email and country. Once you’re done you’ll get a virtual “boarding pass” with your name on it and be added to the list of names that have already been submitted.
So far, over 287 000 names have been submitted and will be sent to Mars. An interactive map on the website shows that 1134 South Africans already have their names on the list. The majority of names have been submitted from the US and India.
InSight’s mission will involve drilling beneath Mars’ surface to explore its deep interior and get a better understanding of its evolution as a rocky planet, the mission’s page explains.
NASA has previously launched a few similar programs to give people the chance to become virtual astronauts. Last year, 1.3 million names were placed on a microchip on the Orion spacecraft‘s first journey into deep space.
The deadline for name submissions is 8th September, InSight will launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on 4th March 2016 and land on Mars on 28th September of the same year.
You’ll be able to see photos of the microchip with everybody’s name, including yours, after the closing date, NASA said.[Source – NASA via Mashable, image – image – CC 2.0 by Marc Van Norden]