NASA teases completed Mars 2020 spacecraft

NASA Opens Opportunity To Visit Mars Here's How You Can Book Your Name

Mars 2020

The space agency is offering "frequent flyer" points along with souvenir boarding passes to members of the public for a trip to Mars, as part of its push around the Mars 2020 mission.

You can add your name to the list until September 30 and obtain the souvenir boarding pass to Mars.

More than 2 million names were submitted when Nasa conducted a similar programme prior to its InSight mission to Mars.

The names will be compiled and stenciled as lines of text smaller than one-thousandth the width of a human hair - which is roughly 75 nanometres.

If everything goes to plan, it'll be another step in the process to sending humans first back to the Moon in 2024, and then onward to Mars.

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"As we get ready to launch this historic Mars mission, we want everyone to share in this journey of exploration", Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said in a news release.

Kilometres are awarded for each "flight", with corresponding digital mission patches available for download.

From the top down, and suspended by cables, is the complete cruise stage, which will power and guide the Mars 2020 spacecraft on its seven-month voyage to the Red Planet.

A single dime-sized chip can hold more than a million engraved names, and the chip (or chips) will ride on the Mars 2020 rover under a glass cover, according to TODAY.

The opportunity to send your name to Mars is part of a public engagement campaign to highlight missions involved with NASA's journey from the Moon to Mars. At least that's what NASA said, and I'll take their word for it. The agency also added that the main goal of this rover is to "search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for a future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet". Pictured: This expansive view of the martian real estate surrounding the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is the first 360 degree, high-resolution color image taken by the rover's panoramic camera February 2, 2004. After all, more than 2.4 million names were etched on two chips that were sent to Mars on NASA's InSight lander previous year. And who knows? Decades or centuries from now, interplanetary explorers might well be able to recover the name-laden microchips from the Mars 2020 rover's frame.

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