Nearly 11 mln people send names to Mars on NASA's rover
The event started in late May and lasted until Sept. 30. People from around the world have sent in nearly 11 million names to fly aboard Mars 2020. Submissions from Turkey, India and the United States led the way.
Over 292,000 Chinese participated in the event.
Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory install the SuperCam Mast Unit onto the Mars 2020 rover in Pasadena, California, July 2, 2019. [Photo: NASA via IC]
Those who sent their names to the Red Planet on the Mars 2020 mission got souvenir boarding passes. Their names, stenciled on chips, will be affixed to the rover, according to NASA.
Built and managed by engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Mars 2020 rover will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in July 2020 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral. The spacecraft is expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021.
The rover, weighing more than 2,300 pounds (over 1,000 kg), will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for its future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.