Always dreamed of going to space? Well, here’s your chance (sort of.) Especially now, when many of us are grounded due to the pandemic, we can still dream. I just got my official government-issued boarding pass for a NASA flight to Mars in July 2026. Here’s how you can get your own boarding pass for Mars, and send your name to Mars.
NASA – Setting New Targets
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has had its eyes on Mars since the agency was established in 1958. First taking on space flight, then space walks, putting a man on the moon and the eventually the space station, it’s always held lofty (pun intended) goals.
Founded by President Eisenhower, NASA has been tasked with many great projects for America and the human race. President Kennedy in 1961 proposed the ambitious goal “of landing a man on the Moon by the end of decade, and returning him safely to the Earth.”
President Obama set a goal of sending a manned mission to Mars by the mid-2030’s, eventually executing a landing on the red planet. That brings us to the latest missions on the scheduled roster for NASA.
NASA Sets Its’s Sights On Mars
NASA has some ambition programs for the fourth planet from the sun. Mars, also referred to as the ‘Red Planet,’ derives its name from the Roman god of war. While man has not ventured out beyond our planet since the 1970’s, NASA has put much of its focus on the Hubble Telescope and the International Space Station. At one point, the program set a goal of placing a manned and fully functional base on the moon’s surface. That program lost its funding under President Obama when the expenses were considered unjustifiable. Now NASA’s unmanned program is beginning to take-off for a more expansive pursuit. Namely, NASA wants to put a new model rover on Mars.
There have been several attempts in the past to put land rovers on the surface of Mars. Most of those ended up in failure. NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover launched on July 30th on what will be a close to seven-month journey to the Red Planet. Perseverance is tasked with surveying its surface in brand new ways. NASA claims the camera onboard is one of the highest resolutions available. In addition, the rover will take soil samples in attempt to answer if life ever existed on Mars.
Send Your Name to Mars and Get Your Own Boarding Pass
If you would like to be a little more personally involved in these missions, NASA is welcoming you. NASA created a website that allows you to submit your name to be transported to Mars. Perhaps, your name would live on in astronomical history forever!
Send Your Name to Mars’ Surface
Jezero Crater Landing Site (Image Taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter)
NASA’s new Perseverance rover successfully launched into space on. You can learn more about the Perseverance rover here. The latest designed rover, years in design, is scheduled to arrive on Mars in February 2021. Its first targeted site is the Jerezo Crater. This crater is believed by scientists to be a dried-up lake bed, once flooded with water and perhaps home to an ancient river delta. NASA scientists are hoping they may find evidence of ancient life or traces of water from the planet’s past.
Perseverance will not stay on Mars forever. The plan is to return to Earth with soil samples for scientists to study around 2031. During its entire mission – to Mars and back– Perseverance will carry some very precious cargo. Perseverance will carry the names of inhabitants of the Earth who register with NASA.
Currently, Perseverance has more than 190 million names on their way to Mars. NASA is still accepting the submissions of those who want their names to be carried on the rover for the duration of its mission. You see, this is not NASA’s last (or only) mission to Mars.
Send Your Name To Mars – Registration
There’s still time to register! With more missions to Mars scheduled, it’s not too late to register your name for a chance to have it included in the next launch. Supporters get to receive a real Martian boarding pass from NASA. In addition, fans are given access to more rover information, educational materials and maps.
How To Register And Get Your Boarding Pass For Mars
The chance to send names to Mars for this year has closed. NASA decided to open another chance for the public to submit their names for the next planned exploration mission.
To register, all you need to do is click here to visit NASA’s Special Mars website. Enter your first name, last name, country, ZIP code and email address. Complete registration, then after approval, you will receive your boarding pass for Mars in your email. Once all names are approved for a mission, NASA will etch them onto a microchip. That microchip is placed aboard a future mission spacecraft to Mars.
NASA Has a Frequent Flyer Program
For those who sign up for more than one mission, NASA has a “frequent flyer” program. If you submit your email address when participating you will become a “Frequent Flyer.” NASA keeps track of all missions you’ve signed up for, plus keeps those boarding passes together in one place. Also, Frequent Flyer miles are accumulated with each mission you register. When you visit the official Frequent Flyer page can view your mission patches. Furthermore, NASA will send you a notification when more opportunities to send your name to Mars become available.
My first flight earns me a whopping 1.7 billion miles, even though Mars is just 48.6 million miles from Earth. I’m not sure if there’s a good redemption program for those miles (like with these programs.) Still, it’s all in good fun and excitement as we race towards the next chapter of man’s space exploration.
This Country (not USA) Is Sending More Names to Mars Than Anyone
The Philippines have submitted 2,151,481 entries for the program, making up a little over sixty-one percent of the world total of 3,471,734. The United States ranks a far second with 181,985 entries, followed by India with 174,571 entries. Brazil (116, 442) Mexico (81,906) and the United Kingdom (58,218) take fourth, fifth and sixth place. Two hundred-fifty-four (254) nations and territories are represented.
NASA Has a No-Fly List?
NASA offers a Frequently Asked Questions on their website regarding the ‘Send Your Name to Mars’ on the Perseverance program. Here’s some highlights:
Registrants can actually get a “No Fly” message. NASA is filtering names that are submitted. Some submissions trigger these filters which are designed to block certain words or phrases. You can let your imagination run with that one.
Here’s a picture of what the chip being sent to Mars looks like (installed):
America’s love of space, and the space program, has led the nation towards great technological advances. It’s pretty cool to think about the next frontier, our neighboring planet – Mars. It gets more exciting when you realize you can send your name to Mars on a rocket ship & rover which will cruise the Martian surface!
“Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvelous it becomes.” Charles Lindbergh
Just as one pioneer of aviation captured our wonder of wandering and searching, we look forward to the next marvelous discoveries. Anyone can be a part of these historic missions to Mars. Send your names to Mars now. To register just click here to visit NASA’s Send Your Name to Mars site.
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