Around 600 people from Cyprus have so far registered to send their names to Mars with NASA`s Mars 2020 rover.
NASA invited the public from all over the world to submit their names to fly aboard the next Mars mission.
A press release by NASA says that although it will be years before the first humans set foot on Mars, NASA is giving the public an opportunity to send their names — stenciled on chips — to the Red Planet with NASA`s Mars 2020 rover, which represents the initial leg of humanity’s first round trip to another planet. The rover is scheduled to launch as early as July 2020, with the spacecraft expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021.
From now until Sept. 30, you can add your name to the list and obtain a souvenir boarding pass to Mars here:
In just some hours, more than 1.2 million people from all over the world registered their names. Most registrations come from the US, followed by Turkey and India. Some 580 Cypriots are included on the list so far. These numbers are expected to rise until the deadline that NASA gave, by the end of September.
Last November, NASA`s InSight rover landed on Mars carrying chips with the names of 2.4 million people. Among them there are 983 Cypriots.
The Mars 2020 rover will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet`s climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, NASA says.
"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) in Washington.
As NASA states, the opportunity to send your name to Mars comes with a souvenir boarding pass and "frequent flyer" points. This is part of a public engagement campaign to highlight missions involved with NASA`s journey from the Moon to Mars.
NASA plans to return to the moon in 2024 and send the first astronauts to Mars in the mid 2030s.