Did you miss out on your boarding pass to be part of NASA’s mission to Mars? The space agency is giving you another chance to hop aboard the InSight lander.
Unless you’ve been training for years to become an astronaut or are one of the 100 finalists for the Mars One mission, you’re probably never going to step foot on the Red Planet. But you can go to Mars, in spirit at least, courtesy of NASA.
NASA is giving humanity the opportunity to explore the stars on a silicon microchip aboard the NASA InSight Mars lander. The lander begins its trip to the Red Planet in March 2016, and anyone who signs up on NASA’s InSight send-your-name pageby September 8 will have their name on the microchip.
The InSight lander is a drill that will dig deep down into the surface of Mars so NASA scientists can study the interior of the planet for the first time. InSight’s mission is to learn about the inner workings of Mars so scientists can better understand how the planet was formed.
This is space fans’ second opportunity to get their names sent to Mars. NASA launched the send-your-name program with the first Orion mission in 2014, an effort that saw 1.38 million people pitch their names into the cosmos.
Those who participated in that program can log in to the mission page with their previous credentials and earn more frequent-flier points to show off their space cred.
InSight will launch in March 2016, and is expected to land on Mars to begin its mission on September 28, 2016. You can learn much more about the Insight mission on NASA’s mission page.