“Get Your Boarding Pass.” Want to be aboard a NASA flight? Well, you’ll get your chance. At least, your name will. NASA is inviting everyone to send their names on a microchip to low-Earth orbit and beyond.
The small microchip’s voyage begins on December 4 with the first flight of the NASA Orion spacecraft. While the Orion spacecraft will come back to Earth, the microchip’s trip won’t stop there. NASA will send the microchip on future flights and missions to Mars.
“When we set foot on the Red Planet, we’ll be exploring for all of humanity. Flying these names will enable people to be part of our journey,” Orion Program manager Mark Geyer said in a statement.
NASA also recently released a video showcasing the Orion spacecraft.
Orion is in the final stages of preparation for the uncrewed flight test that will take it 3,600 miles above Earth on a 4.5-hour mission to test many of the systems necessary for future human missions into deep space. After two orbits, Orion will reenter Earth’s atmosphere at almost 20,000 miles per hour, and reach temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit before its parachute system deploys to slow the spacecraft for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
On future missions, Orion will carry astronauts farther into the solar system than ever before, including to an asteroid and Mars.