More than 10 million NASA supporters have already signed up to send their names to the Red Planet. The NASA Mars 2020 mission is scheduled to take off next year in July, sending NASA’s next generation of robotic explorers to Mars. To mark the occasion, NASA has offered up a limited number of boarding passes to join the Mars-bound mission in spirit. However, the deadline to submit your name to NASA runs out tonight – October 1 at 5.59am BST (September 30, 11.59 EDT).
How to submit your name to the NASA Mars 2020 mission:
Anyone wanting to participate in NASA’s mission from the sidelines can submit their name via the Mars 2020 website.
NASA said: “NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover is heading to the Red Planet.
“Submit your name by September 30, 2019, 11.59pm ET, and fly along!”
Simply click on the link above, which will take you to a form to fill out.
NASA will ask you to submit your first name, your last name, country of residence, postal code and email address.
By supplying the space agency with your email, you will have a chance to collect “Frequent Flyer” points for the next time NASA launches a probe or rover into space.
Filling out the form will also give you an optional chance to sign-up to NASA’s newsletter.
Once you fill out the form, NASA will issue a boarding pass for the mission with your name on it.
You can also log in to your Frequent Flyer account to check how many points you have accrued and download a unique mission badge.
What is the NASA Mars 2020 mission?
Mars 2020 is the latest attempt to land a robotic explorer on the surface of Mars.
The mission is pencilled in for a launch window between July 17 and August 5, 2020.
After launching from Florida’s Cape Canaveral, the Mars 2020 rover will not land on Mars until February 18, 20201.
The mission is expected to last one Mars year – about 687 Earth days – but judging by NASA’s past missions, the remote rover will likely explore the Red Planet for many years to come.
The Mars 2020 rover is the familiar six-wheeled robot, based on the design of NASA’s Curiosity rover.
NASA said: “It is car-sized, about 10-feet-long – not including the arm – nine-feet-wide and seven-feet-tall.
“But at 2,314 pounds (1,050kg), it weighs less than a compact car.
“In some sense, the rover parts are similar to what any living creature would need to keep it ‘alive’ and able to explore.”
The NASA robot will study the Red Planet’s ability to sustain life now and in the past.
The mission will also collect and return a sample of Martian rock to Earth.