NASA is giving you the chance to go to Mars in 2018…sort of

Want to fly to Mars next year? Thanks to NASA, you could be buckling up and heading to the red planet just by filling out a form. Kind of. 

NASA is giving you the chance to go to Mars in 2018...sort of

Your name, at least, could be placed on a microchip that will be flown to Mars as part of NASA’s next robotic mission on the InSight lander.

The flying opportunity was first introduced in 2014 when NASA announced its mission to Mars. Early boarders were given the chance to register their names in 2015, with nearly 827,000 people being put onto the first microchip.

 As the doors closed, however, many missed their chance to fly. With this latest scheme, NASA is giving those people another opportunity to jet off to Mars. The agency is accepting names for a second microchip that will be placed in the InSight lander.

Currently, you’ll be sharing the flight with more than a million other people so it’s likely to be a cramped journey with very little leg room. Passengers who register their name will receive frequent flyer points that indicate their participation in NASA’s Mars study. Upon acceptance, your name will be put on a microchip that will sit inside the InSight lander.

The flight is set to depart in May 2018 and you’ll be on a long-haul flight that’s expected to take six months. If you signed up in the previous intake, you can download your boarding pass which will show your current frequent flyer miles.

The InSight lander (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is designed to explore Mars’ core. It will set down a seismometer which will be able to detect meteor strikes and Marsquakes. Tracking the seismic energy, the lander will be able to study the material that’s below the red planet’s surface. The lander will also deploy a self-hammering heat probe that will ground down into Mars’ depths.

Passengers wishing to board the InSight lander should do so by filling out this. You’ve only got until 1 November so you have to be quick, though.

 

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