Last Chance to Send Your Name to Mars!

NASA will put your name on microchip and blast it into space on Orion spacecraft
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2014 12:02 PM CDT
Last Chance to Send Your Name to Mars!
Your name could have this view someday.   (AP Photo/NASA, File)

If you've concluded that a one-way ticket to Mars isn't for you, there's a tamer alternative: Send your name to Mars instead. Today is the last day to sign up to get your moniker on a "dime-sized microchip" that's being blasted into space on the Orion spacecraft, NASA reports. The first launch on Dec. 4 is technically only a test flight, but [insert your name here] will still get to take a 4.5-hour, two-orbit journey around Earth, then hurl back to terra firma at close to 20,000mph before splashing down in the Pacific.

Your name will also be placed on future test flights and eventual missions to Mars. "When we set foot on the Red Planet, we'll be exploring for all of humanity," the Orion Program manager says. "Flying these names will enable people to be part of our journey." Hurry up to get a "seat" on the chip: More than 1.3 million other adventurers had already signed up as of this morning, USA Today reports. Get your boarding pass here before midnight EDT—though NASA notes "the public will have an opportunity to keep submitting names beyond Oct. 31 to be included on future test flights." (In other planetary news, ancient meteorites have changed the story of Earth's water.)

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