Humans To 'Reach' Mars By Year 2020, Here's How

NASA is letting you send your name to Mars

NASA is letting you send your name to Mars

Although it will be years before the first humans set foot on Mars, NASA is inviting the public to submit their names to fly to the Red Planet aboard the U.S. space agency's Mars 2020 rover. You still have until September 30th to participate.

In a new blog post, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory teases the completion of a very important piece of hardware.

NASA explained that the names will be etched on a dime-sized chip with lines of text smaller than one-thousandth the width of a human hair (75 nanometers).

Nasa is aiming to return humans to the moon by 2024, conduct further exploration of its surface and use what it learns to support sending astronauts to Mars in the 2030s.

"As we get ready to launch this historic Mars mission, we want everyone to share in this journey of exploration", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) here.

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"The delta is a good place for evidence of life to be deposited and then preserved for the billions of years that have elapsed since this lake was present", Mars 2020 project scientist Ken Farley said last November, when NASA revealed where the rover would be going. Participants will also receive a souvenir boarding pass for participating in NASA's launch.

When NASA's InSight mission lifted off in May 2018, it was carrying more than two million names on microchips, giving each "flyer" about 300 million frequent flyer miles, or almost 500 million frequent flyer kilometers.

Kilometres are awarded for each "flight", with corresponding digital mission patches available for download. The rover's main mission at Jezero Crater will be to explore what's thought to be the site of an ancient river delta on the edge of a giant impact basin. After landing, it will get to work and search for signs of microbial life, collect soil samples and overall do its best to help us pave the way to a future Martian colony.

On NASA's website the mission is described as part of "NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet". There is a lot of room on the two or more chips under the glass. Government, industry and worldwide partners will join NASA in a global effort to build and test the systems needed for human missions to Mars and beyond.

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