By Sara Hammond, Arizona Science Desk
If you’ve ever dreamed of setting foot on Earth’s moon or another planet, NASA is offering the next best thing – your name in space for eternity.
America’s space agency has a real knack for public involvement in its missions. From hosting live chats with international space station astronauts to inviting social media mavens to attend rocket launches, NASA has honed its communications machine.
Now, NASA is inviting its fans and followers to add their names to a microchip that will head to the red planet aboard the InSight Mars lander, scheduled to launch next March and land in late September to begin its exploration.
InSight will investigate the deep interior of Mars. It will place the first seismometer directly on the surface to measure Martian quakes and use seismic waves to learn about the planet’s interior. It will also deploy a self-hammering heat probe to burrow deeper into the ground than any previous device sent to Mars.
To get your name on that microchip – and to earn frequent flyer points from NASA – visit the InSight website. Submit your name through Sept. 8. And don’t forget to print out your boarding pass.
The Arizona Science Desk is a collaboration of public broadcasting entities in the state, including Arizona Public Media.