Send your name to NASA to fly aboard Mars 2020 rover

Pablo Tucker
May 23, 2019

The new rover is a larger version of NASA's Mars Curiosity rover that will be equipped with a whole new set of science instruments to explore the red planet, including a tiny helicopter and a microphone to record sounds.

The names will be dispatched with the Mars 2020 rover, which is now under construction.

During that period, it is more energy-efficient to travel to Mars, and to keep mission costs and risks low, the Mars 2020 design is based on past architecture, including its Curiosity rover and proven landing system.

Those that do so will also receive a boarding pass print out that also includes "frequent flyer" points.

You could join the trip too, by sending your name to ride along with the rover. The Mars 2020 rover will lay the groundwork for eventual human exploration of Mars. NASA's 2020 rover is expected to launch in July 2020 and land on Mars by February 2021.

"It's an exciting time for NASA, as we embark on this voyage profound questions about our neighbouring planet, and even the origins of life itself".

This scale will allow over one million names to be written on a single chip, the size of a coin.

To further get people interested in the agency's journey, NASA would give away "miles" (or kilometers) for every "flight", with its own digital mission patches that are available online.

No, you can't go to Mars (at least not yet), but your name can go on the next rover NASA sends to the Red Planet. This took off on February 2018, giving each "flyer" almost 500 million frequent flyer kms. Over 400, 000 names have already been submitted but you have until September 30 to get your name on the passenger list.

It will hunt for signs of microbial life, and study the planet's climate and geological properties by collecting samples for scientists to study back on Earth, not to mention being loaded up with cameras so the rest of us can see what's to see on the Red Planet.

NASA recently announced the next crewed mission to the moon will be called Artemis and include a female astronaut. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the mission name as part of NASA's updated budget request.

Mars 2020 will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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