Photo credit: NASA | JPL-Caltech
NASA’s deadline for their “Send Your Name to Mars” campaign is coming up very soon, and after it ends tonight (Sep. 30), the agency will begin etching the submitted names, over 9.4 million thus far, onto a chip that will be attched to the Mars 2020 rover. It’s scheduled to launch as early as July 2020 and expected to touch down on the Martian surface in February 2021. Read more for two videos and the link to sign up.
This robotic scientist weighs a hefty 2,300 pounds, but for good reason, it will use its tools to search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate / geology, collect samples for return to Earth in the future, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. An electron beam will be used to stencil the submitted names onto a silicon chip with lines of text smaller than one-thousandth the width of a human hair, which means millions of names can be written on a single dime-sized chip. Sign up here now.
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,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.