(WAFF) - Humans aren’t going to Mars just yet, but your name could be.
NASA is giving the public an opportunity to send their names - stenciled on chips - aboard the Mars 2020 rover. NASA says this 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.
“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 neighboring 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 by clicking here.