I’m going to Mars!

I can hear my former in-laws jumping for joy but alas, I’m not actually leaving Terra. But my name is, thanks to NASA.

The NASA’s Mars Exploration Project is going to use Orion, NASA’s new spacecraft, not just to the red planet but eventually also to destinations in deep space. Beginning with Orion’s first test flight, scheduled to launch 4-6 December 2014, NASA is giving people a chance to send their names into space.

If only your name could collect frequent flyer miles. NASA is inviting the public to send their names on a microchip to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including Mars.

Your name will begin its journey on a dime-sized microchip when the agency’s Orion spacecraft launches Dec. 4 on its first flight, designated Exploration Flight Test-1. After a 4.5 hour, two-orbit mission around Earth to test Orion’s systems, the spacecraft will travel back through the atmosphere at speeds approaching 20,000 mph and temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

Of course, this isn’t a one-shot deal. NASA will continue sending the names on future NASA exploration flights and missions to Mars. There’s no telling where your name will end up going.

The deadline for getting your name on Orion’s first flight is TODAY, 31 October 2014. If you make the deadline you’ll get a boarding pass showing that you’re one of the very lucky people who will get to virtually travel to on Orion. This is what my boarding pass looks like:

Image Credit: mars.nasa.gov

 

Today’s the last day to send your name to Mars so head on over and get your own boarding pass on NASA’s #JourneyToMars!

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