You Can Send Your Name to Mars on NASA's Next Mission to the Red Planet

Your name will be launched into space.

send your name to mars
NASA’s Perseverance rover fires up its descent stage engines as it nears the Martian surface in this illustration. | NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA’s Perseverance rover fires up its descent stage engines as it nears the Martian surface in this illustration. | NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's  Perseverance landed on Mars in late February. The car-sized rover's arrival on the red planet has held the attention of people all over the world. There has been plenty to be excited about—from the incredible landing footage to the Ingenuity helicopter's coming test. 

As part of the mission, Perseverance carried the names of nearly 11 million people to Mars. That's a whole lot of people, but it turns out that there were still more people feeling like they missed out. So, NASA has re-opened its "Send Your Name to Mars" portal, where you can sign up to send your name into space on a future Mars mission.

"Since the Mars 2020 opportunity closed, many people have since expressed interest in sending their name to Mars," NASA stated. "For those who missed the chance to fly their names on Perseverance, we want to give them the chance to sign up to fly their names on a future mission to Mars."

It's not yet clear when that "future mission" will take place or what that mission will be, but your name could be on board. It will be sitting alongside the more than 10 million who have already signed up to have their name etched onto a microchip that will be on board that future craft.

That's how names were launched on Perseverance. There are three microchips that contain the names of 10.9 million people who also received a "boarding pass" from NASA. Also included on the microchip are the 155 finalist essays in the "Name the Rover" contest to name the Mars 2020 rover. Among those essays are the winning ones that pitched Perseverance and Ingenuity for the rover and helicopter. 

It's free to sign up to have your name on the next Mars mission. The portal only asks for your name, country, postal code, and email address. The names aren't shared publicly. Though, if Matt Damon figures out how to read the chip, he might invite you over for a potato-rich dinner.

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in a stream the northern lights from home. If you're just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners, the best meteor showers of 2021, or easy stargazing road trips from big US cities

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.