Reading Mars' Deep Climate History in the Layers of its Ice Cap

Pablo Tucker
May 26, 2019

Humans still have a long way to go before we can set foot on planet Mars. Also in the latitudes in the middle of the planet, where this analysis group has earlier confirmed the existence of glaciers spread widely, utilizing the SHARAD tool as well.

NASA is offering to take a huge list of names on board the Mars 2020 rover's life-hunting trip, Space.com reports.

Names will be delivered, stencilled on chips, via NASA's Mars 2020 rover and people will receive their own souvenir boarding pass and "frequent flyer" points.


Interested? Register your name here.

The names will be individually etched onto the chip using an electron beam at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. This means that about a million names can be put into a dime-sized microchip. They used gravitational data of the red planet, that was collected by NASA during many missions.

Once it arrives, it'll spend at least one Mars year (that's about 687 Earth days) gathering data and rock and soil samples for study. Nearly 1.5 million names were submitted since NASA released the invitation.


"As we get ready to launch this historic Mars mission, we want everyone to share in this journey of exploration.

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", Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) in Washington, said. Sending names to Mars is a symbolic way to have humanity's presence on the planet and NASA's way to hype up public interest and support to its space missions.

Miles 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)". This took off on February 2018, giving each "flyer" almost 500 million frequent flyer kms. A Million Names To Mars To participate in the project, the public can add their names to the list on the dedicated website until September 30.


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