NASA offers program to send your name to Mars

This artist's concept depicts the InSight lander on Mars after the lander's robotic arm has deployed a seismometer and a heat probe directly onto the ground. Credit: NASA

Next spring NASA plans to launch its InSight mission to study the interior of Mars and now your name can travel to the Red Planet with the spacecraft.

NASA will upload the registered names to a dime-size chip and secure it to the InSight lander deck.

InSight signature microchip install
A spacecraft specialist affixes a dime-size chip onto the lander deck. Credit: NASA

The InSight was originally scheduled to launch in March of 2017, but NASA suspended launch preparations in December due to a vacuum leak in its prime science instrument.

The InSight is currently scheduled for a May 2018 launch and will then have a six-month journey to Mars. InSight will be carrying science instruments and hundreds of thousands of names.

In 2015, nearly 827,000 people signed up to add their names to a silicon microchip onboard the robotic spacecraft. Due to the delay, NASA is now adding a second microchip, giving the public a second chance to send their names to Mars.

What’s InSights Mission?

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Well besides flying your name to Mars, NASA says InSight will be studying how Mars and other planets formed and evolved. The spacecraft will have a robotic arm with a seismometer and heat probe which will go below the Martian surface.

“Our robotic scientific explorers such as InSight are paving the way toward an ambitious journey to send humans to the Red Planet,” said Geoff Yoder, acting associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, in Washington. “It’s gratifying that we are moving forward with this important mission to help us better understand the origins of Mars and all the rocky planets, including Earth.”

InSight is the first mission dedicated to investigating the deep interior of Mars.

How do you sign-up?

Those interested in registering can sign-up at this link. You have to register before November 1, 2017.

Registration takes less than a minute and the probability of Martian identity theft is minimal.

Mars InSight “boarding pass” you receive once you register.

InSight is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and its launch period begins on May 5, of 2018.


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has a decade and a half of experience working in a fast-paced newsroom. He’s worked as a journalist, weather chief, and news director. He was on air during major weather and news events, including Hurricane Katrina, and the EF-4 tornados that struck the city of Hattiesburg in 2013. Ortego is a two-time 1st place recipient in Investigative Journalism from The Mississippi Associated Press and a five-time recipient of Best Weather Broadcast.