NASA is giving the public an opportunity to send their names — stenciled on chips — to the Red Planet with NASA’s Mars 2020 rover. People who want to send their name to Mars on NASA’s next rover mission to the Red Planet (Mars 2020) can get a souvenir boarding pass and their names etched on microchips to be affixed to the rover.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) in Washington said, “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.”
The rover is scheduled to launch as early as July 2020, with the spacecraft expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021.
The 1,000-kg rover would search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate and geology, collect samples for a future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.
The Microdevices Laboratory at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, will use an electron beam to stencil the submitted names onto a silicon chip with lines of text smaller than one-thousandth the width of a human hair (75 nanometers). At that size, more than a million names can be written on a single dime-size chip. The chip (or chips) will ride on the rover under a glass cover.
From now until Sept. 30, you can add your name to the list and obtain a souvenir boarding pass to Mars here: