Back in 2020, NASA sent a car-sized rover called Perseverance to Mars. It arrived on Mars in February 2021, and its mission is to search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover has many instruments attached, such as MOXIE whose job is to produce oxygen from the Martian carbon-dioxide atmosphere.
Along with the many scientific instruments, a placard that commemorates NASA’s “Send Your Name on Mars” campaign was installed on the not-so-little Mars rover. It contained no more no less than 10,932,295 stenciled names on three silicon chips on the anodized plate. That plate also had something magnificent - a laser-etched graphic that depicts Earth and Mars joined by a star that gives light to both.
Last year, NASA invited people to take part in the same campaign again, this time for a future mission that will take place in mid-2026. Currently, there are already 22,456,133 people with their boarding pass ready, and with each second that passes, more and more people are registering for this opportunity. Most of those people come from China, the United States, and the Philippines.
Getting a boarding pass to Mars is actually easier than getting one for traveling with a plane. You only need to go to the official “Send Your Name to Mars” site, enter your full name, postal code, and email address, and that’s it. Your name might just be lucky enough to be chosen to go on the adventure of its life.
To the millions who sent your names with me: thanks for riding along. The two chips with your names may be dustier now (just like me), but we're here together on Mars, my forever home.— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) November 18, 2022
Future explorers, send your name on NASA’s next Mars mission: https://t.co/1OR2wPdIKg pic.twitter.com/HYBDFuqcLj