The number of Filipinos wanting to “travel” to Mars has just breached the million mark.
Send me: The Philippines has topped the countries with the most number of signups for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s “Send Your Name to Mars” program.
- The “Send Your Name to Mars” program is NASA’s second invitation to have participants “fly” their names in its future missions to the Red Planet.
- As of this writing, NASA has received over 1.7 million submissions from the Philippines, exceeding the rest of the submissions combined which is now at over 1 million.
- The total name reservations received by NASA so far has reached over 2.6 million.
- The United States comes in second with over 151,000 reservations, India follows closely with more than 136,000.
- On social media, users shared their opinion on why so many Filipinos participated in the program.
- One user speculated that this could be a sign of growing discontent with the way “things are run” in the Philippines. Another pointed out that it just reveals the Filipinos’ love for social media.
First-class flight: NASA launched a car-sized rover named Perseverance and a robotic helicopter named Ingenuity to Mars on Thursday, carrying with it the names of 10,932,295 people who participated in the first “Send Your Name to Mars” campaign.
- Names of the participants were stenciled by an electron beam to three fingernail-sized silicon chips, along with the essays of the 155 finalists in NASA’s “Name the Rover” contest.
- The chips were then attached to an aluminum plate on NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover at Kennedy Space Center in Florida back in March.
- The Mars 2020 mission is aimed to look for signs of past microbial life and examine the Martian climate and geology in the area known as Jezero crater.
- The current mission is set to land its robotic explorers on Mars on February 18, 2021, after six and a half months of travel time.
- Shortly after landing, the Ingenuity helicopter will be deployed, becoming the first aircraft to fly on another planet.
- Those who want to include their names on the next Mars mission slated for July 2026 can sign up here.
Feature Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech