Have you ever dreamed of having your name etched on another planet? Well, now you can make that dream a reality thanks to NASA. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is offering people the opportunity to send their names to Mars on future missions. Unlike other “name a star” offers, this is not a scam. For the cost of everyone’s tax dollars, NASA will laser-etch your name (or the name of someone you love) onto a microchip that will be left behind on the Red Planet.
Getting your name on Mars is incredibly easy. Simply visit NASA’s website, enter the name you want to send, along with your country and zip code. If you provide your email address, you will become a member of NASA’s “frequent flyer” club and receive over a billion frequent flyer miles at no cost. You will also receive a personalized “boarding pass” that you can share on social media or even frame.
This isn’t the first time that NASA has transported names to Mars. In the last mission, 10,932,295 human names were inscribed on three tiny silicon chips, attached to the Perseverance rover that landed on Mars in 2020. These names have been accompanying the rover on its mission, helping to search for signs of life and water. They have been part of incredible space adventures and will continue to make history.
Sending names into space has a surprisingly long history. Space agencies like NASA often sponsor outreach programs to engage the public. Sending people’s names to cosmic locations has proven to be an effective way to generate interest and support. The tradition began in 1971 when a plaque with the names of 14 astronauts and cosmonauts was left on the moon by Apollo 15’s crew.
It was the space advocacy group, The Planetary Society, that started sending names of average citizens to the stars. Names were miniaturized and included on various space missions like the Mars Pathfinder in 1996 and the Cassini probe that crashed into Saturn in 2017. Over 20 spacecraft, including NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the New Horizons probe, have carried names into space.
While there hasn’t been any extraterrestrial response to these names, the initiative continues to captivate and inspire space enthusiasts around the world. So, if you’ve ever wanted your name to be part of interplanetary history, now is your chance to join NASA’s “frequent flyer” club and send your name on a journey to Mars.
1. Microchip: A small electronic device containing integrated circuits.
2. Perseverance Rover: A robotic rover that landed on Mars in 2020 as part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission.
3. Silicon Chips: Tiny semiconductor devices used to store electronic information.
4. Apollo 15: The ninth crewed mission in NASA’s Apollo space program, which explored the moon in 1971.
5. Cassini Probe: A space probe that orbited Saturn from 2004 to 2017, providing valuable data about the planet and its moons.
6. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: A NASA spacecraft that has been orbiting the moon since 2009, gathering data about its surface.
7. New Horizons Probe: A NASA spacecraft that conducted a flyby of Pluto in 2015 and is currently exploring the Kuiper Belt.