NASA will soon embark on a seven-month mission to the red planet via its Mars 2020 Rover to ascertain if it can sustain humankind.
Before it gets there, the space agency is taking in names to send to space onboard the Mars 2020 Rover for free, and nearly eight million people have already signed up.
For every name registered, NASA issues a “boarding pass” to the passenger. Those who fill in an optional field for their email addresses will also qualify as ‘Frequent Flyers’, which allow them to accumulate miles each time they register for a mission like this one.
If you’re a ‘Frequent Flyer’, you’ll also be able to collect “mission patches” whenever your name hits a space travel milestone, NASA shares.
NASA will review and approve the names, then download them into a microchip to be sent upwards during its expedition.
The organization also assures that other passengers will not be able to see your name, as its list will be kept confidential. Space travelers, nevertheless, can view a picture of the final chip on NASA’s campaign page after the microchip is fully installed in spring 2020.
Some social media users, however, question the purpose of this movement and think it’s just a marketing gimmick. They argue that the real drawing point should be if NASA actually sent a person to Mars with its astronauts.
For those still keen on becoming a ‘Frequent Flyer’ with NASA, you can register your name for its first mission to Mars by 30 September.
It's not too late to send your name to Mars! 🤖
Our #Mars2020 Rover is gearing up for its seven-month journey to the Red Planet and you can send your name along for the ride. Get your boarding pass: https://t.co/mX7bZ5Ev6g pic.twitter.com/I3MHKurNgr
— NASA (@NASA) July 28, 2019
— Tyler Apollo (@_TYLER_APOLLO_) July 28, 2019
Oh wow, how is having my name associated with this in any way scientifically relevant? …it's not? Just PR bullshit?
— Orpheus (@Orpheus00401677) July 28, 2019
Smart way to get people's email addresses for marketing/promotional reasons I guess.
— Muzammil Ahmed (@extkoer) July 28, 2019
Leave Mars alone.. we've already destroyed this damn planet!! Isn't that enough? !?!😭😢😭😢😭😢
— Cat KWN (@SilverHoops71) July 28, 2019