NASA recently announced that they will send your name—and anyone else’s—to mars on the first Orion mission which launches on December 4, 2014. Names collected on a NASA website will be saved on a microchip no larger than a dime.
Initially, the microchip of names will be included on the first test flight of the new Orion craft. It will be sent on a 4 to 5-hour orbiting mission around the Earth. After which it will fly back through the atmosphere until it lands somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
Orion was specifically designed to someday transport astronauts on lengthy missions to various asteroids and the planet Mars. People who register to send their names into space on the Orion spacecraft are literally sending their name to the Red Planet at some time in the future.
As this goes to press, approximately 95,000 people have submitted their names to be included on the flight to Mars. Those interested in participating can register at NASA’s name-gathering site and submit their information. The website creates an actual “boarding pass” for each individual participant.
Additionally, NASA will also be keeping track of mileage for the submitted names and provide their own version of “frequent-flyer award points”. It’s considered to be a novel way of keeping the public’s attention so that they follow the Orion missions.
Mark Geyer, Orion Program manager, said: “NASA is pushing the boundaries of exploration and working hard to send people to Mars in the future. When we set foot on the Red Planet, we’ll be exploring for all of humanity. Flying these names will enable people to be part of our journey.”
If you’re interested in including your name to the list then you’d best get off your asteroid now because the official deadline for placing your name on the Orion flight list is October 31. Those who miss the deadline will be given the chance to sign on for additional fly-along missions in the future.
NASA: Send Your Name To Mars