We can’t believe we missed this―NASA’s about to launch a rover to Mars, and we didn’t get to sign up.
Well, not exactly “sign up” as in physically be on the mission but symbolically.n an effort to promote the Perseverance rover and its seven-month journey to the Red Planet, NASA launched the “Send Your Name to Mars” program where people can register their names on the rover.
More than 10 million names have been etched on three microchips, which the Perseverance rover will carry as it explores the planet for any signs of life.
NASA is preparing to launch Perseverance today, July 30, so if you missed the chance to sign up, there’s good news: You can join the next Mars mission in 2026.
All you have to do is go to NASA’s Send Your Name to Mars website and register as indicated so you can reserve your spot on the next Mars mission. Plus, you can get your own boarding pass as a souvenir (just like ours right here).
The 2026 Mars mission currently has over a million people from around the world signed up, with around a third of that coming from the Philippines alone. From naming planets to launching microsatellites, it comes as no surprise that Filipinos have quite an inclination towards astronomy.
While we still have a long way to go before we can lead our own space missions, Filipinos’ interest in space and science in general is just as promising.
Art by Yel Sayo