Sunday, October 15, 2017


When NASA’s InSight lander reaches Mars in November 2018, it will carry with it hundreds of thousands of names from members of the public. In 2015, nearly 827,000 people signed up to add their names to a silicon microchip on-board the robotic spacecraft. NASA is now adding another microchip, giving the public a second chance to send their names to Mars. 

Here's my pass on the first microchip.

Here's my pass on the second microchip.

“Mars continues to excite space enthusiasts of all ages,” said Bruce Banerdt, the InSight mission’s principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “This opportunity lets them become a part of the spacecraft that will study the inside of the Red Planet.”


An example of a “boarding pass” that members of the public can download by participating in NASA’s Frequent Fliers program. With each NASA mission that flies their names, individuals can accumulate “miles” on their boarding pass. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


New name submissions will be accepted through November 1, 2017, at this link.


Participants in the fly-your-name opportunity receive “frequent flier” points that reflect their participation in NASA’s exploration of Mars. Individuals who submitted their names during the earlier Insight opportunity in 2015 can download a “boarding pass” and see their “frequent flier” miles.

In 2014, a chip carrying the names 0f 1.38 million people flew aboard Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), the first flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft. The next opportunity after InSight to earn frequent flier points will be NASA’s Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), the first flight which will bring the Orion spacecraft together with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket to travel thousands of miles beyond the Moon.

NASA’s InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) lander will be the first mission to explore the deep interior of Mars. InSight will set down a seismometer to detect marsquakes and meteor strikes, using the seismic energy of these phenomena to study material far below the Martian surface. The lander will also deploy a self-hammering heat probe that will burrow deeper into the ground than any previous device on Mars.

InSight is scheduled to launch atop an Atlas V 401 booster from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in May of 2018. MORE ...


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