Science

NASA invites public to be part of Mars mission

NASA invites public to be part of Mars mission”

As much talk as there is about Mars colonization, it's still going to be a good few years before humans land on the Red Planet.

In a bid to create awareness on its moon then Mars journey, the USA based space agency is allowing humans to stencil their names on chips that will be transported on board NASA's Mars 2020 Rover.

They claimed that the layers of ice, which are buried a mile beneath the north pole of Mars, could be one of the largest reservoirs of water on the planet.

The opportunity comes with a souvenir boarding pass coupled with "frequent flyer" points. The Mars 2020 spacecraft, with a mission to probe microbial life on the Red Planet, will leave Earth on July 2020 and is expected to reach Mars in February 18, 2021.

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The "robotic scientist", as NASA calls it in the press release, weighs more than 2,300 pounds and is created to dig for evidence of past microbial life and learn more about Mars' climate and geology. It will also collect samples for the return trip back to earth; Maybe some we'll be able to explore the Red Planet. The names will be stenciled very, very small - just the size smaller than one-thousandth the width of a human hair onto a silicon chip that will be affixed to the rover. A glass cover cover will protect the chips.

In 2018, more than 2 million names which flew on board NASA's InSight mission to Mars received a whopping 300 million frequent flyer miles. The last for submitted the names on September 30, 2019. Of course, you can't go to Mars with the rover, we're not at the necessary level of space exploration for that so far.

To further get people interested in the agency's journey, NASA would give away "miles" (or kilometers) for every "flight", with its own digital mission patches that are available online. Sending names to Mars is a symbolic way to have humanity's presence on the planet and NASA's way to hype up public interest and support to its space missions. The launch site indicated on the pass is at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and the arrival site will be at Jezero Crater on Mars.

The Mars 2020 Project at JPL manages rover development for SMD.



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