NASA’s next mission to the Red Planet will be a special one, and not just for the space agency, as they announced today that boarding passes will display names submitted by internet users etched onto microchips and carried aboard the Mars 2020 rover. It’s scheduled to launch as early as July 2020, with the spacecraft expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021. This 1,000-kg rover is designed to search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate as well as geology, collect samples, and pave the way for human exploration. Read more for another video and additional information.
“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 neighbouring planet, and even the origins of life itself,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) in Washington, DC.