COUNCIL CHRONICLE – Through its InSight mission, set to launch next year, NASA is inviting even the public that can’t reach Mars to take a trip to the Red Planet. Namely, all those interested can submit their name to the aerospace agency which will paste it on a microchip and send it into space.
InSight or the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigation, Geodesy, and Heat Transport, on its full name, is set to launch next year in May.
The InSight Mission, a Delay that Came with Another Chance
NASA’s InSight was initially scheduled to launch back in 2016. However, its deployment was delayed by the detection of a critical leak that would have caused interferences with the seismometer. With the problem having since been repaired, the spacecraft should set out in May 2018.
NASA decided to launch its ‘names campaign’ even before the delay caused by the issue. At the time, the agency loaded the submitted names on a microchip that would be sent to space and then Mars with the spacecraft. The initial submission saw the registration of almost 827,000 people.
Now, NASA announced that it would be adding a second microchip to the equipment on board the InSight. Thanks to this, even more people will get the chance to submit their names and reach, at least in appellation, to Mars.
“Mars continues to excite space enthusiasts of all ages. This opportunity lets them become a part of the spacecraft that will study the inside of the Red Planet,” states Bruce Banerdt.
He is the InSight mission’s principal investigator and part of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab.
People that submit their names will receive a “boarding pass”. This will show the name of the mission and display details on it. For example, it will present the launch date and the type of rocket carrying the spacecraft.
Those that submitted their names in the first round will reportedly be receiving updated such boarding passes. People will also be getting “frequent flier” miles. Almost 1 million people had submitted their name by the time this article was written.
Image Source: JPL/NASA