NASA Invites People To Send Your Name On Mars With Orion’s First Flight


NASA is officially inviting you to send your name to Mars.The space agency said in a statement that the adventure will begin with the first Orion test flight scheduled for December 4, 2014. Your name will be included on a dime-sized microchip on Orion, which will travel to destinations beyond the low-Earth orbit, including Mars. Over 267,804 people have already signed up and received their “boarding pass.”

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Get your boarding pass

NASA is currently preparing the Orion spacecraft for its first test flight. The test flight will take off on December 4 from Cape Canaveral. It will circle Earth a few times for 4.5 hours before a splashdown in the Pacific ocean. Orion is designed to carry astronauts to asteroids and Mars one day. You may not reach the Red Planet anytime soon, but your name can.

Go to this link, enter your name and a few other details and submit. The NASA website will then generate a “boarding pass” along with the message “Success! Your name will fly on Orion’s flight test.” And then your name will zip through the atmosphere in December with the test flight, and reach on Mars some day. But hurry, there is a deadline. The names will be accepted only until Halloween, October 31, 2014.

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NASA wants to keep people engaged


Orion program manager Mark Geyer said the space agency is pushing the boundaries of space exploration. Flying these names to Mars will enable people to be part of the exploration. NASA will also track mileage for your names, giving you the “frequent flyer award points” for fun. It’s a way to keep people engaged with the ambitious mission.

But there is an alternative. Mars One, a Dutch company, last year announced that it was looking for volunteer astronauts to fly to the Red Planet. Its spacecraft is scheduled to depart in 2022 and land on Mars in 2023. Unfortunately, it’s a one-way mission. There is no technology for a return mission. Still, tens of thousands of people have volunteered for its program. The company estimates that it would need $6 billion to fund the mission.

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  1. Nah, the reason we’ll stagnate is that even when there is a very healthy profit and return on investment, we still have ignorant people who can’t be bothered to do anything more than make wild assumptions at what is going on instead of actually doing their homework and seeing what actually happens.

    Anybody that spends 5 minutes on Google could tell that NASA’s budget needs to be exponentially expanded, not cut.

  2. NASA’s budget is less than 1% of the overall national budget.
    Its running on only $17.6 billion. Out of over $3 trillion. We spend almost twice that every year on pizza ($32 billion per year). Bernie Madoff’s ponzie scheme was $50 billion. We bought $97 billion worth of booze last year. Americans spent more than $586.5 billion on GAMBLING.

    Stop and think about that. We literally pissed away almost 6x NASA’s entire yearly budget the morning after we went drinking, and we basically threw 33x NASA’s budget away playing slots and blackjack.

    NASA’s budget is TINY!

  3. How many times have we heard the mantra: Why are we spending billions of dollars up there in space when we have pressing problems down here on Earth? Let’s re-ask the question in an illuminating way: What is the total cost in taxes of all spaceborne telescopes, planetary probes, the rovers on Mars, the space station and shuttle, telescopes yet to orbit and missions yet to fly? Answer: less than 1% on the tax dollar—7/10ths of a penny, to be exact. I’d prefer that it were more, perhaps 2 cents on the dollar. Even during the storied Apollo era, peak NASA spending amounted to no more than 4 cents on the tax dollar. At that level, NASA’s current space-exploration program would reclaim our pre-eminence in a field we pioneered. Right now, the program paddles along slowly, with barely enough support to ever lead the journey.

    So, with 99 out of 100 cents going to fund the rest of our nation’s priorities, the space program is not now (nor has it ever really been) in anybody’s way. Instead, America’s former investments in aerospace have shaped our discovery-infused culture in ways that are obvious to the rest of the world. But we are a sufficiently wealthy nation to embrace this investment for tomorrow—to drive our economy, our ambitions and, above all, our dreams.


  4. For every dollar spent on NASA funding it returns $15 of business. NASA is a giant patent office that makes a ton of money on licensing for the benefit of america and its people. Looks up NASA spinoff…

  5. This is why mankind will stagnate. We never try and reach for knowledge for knowledge’s sake.
    There has to be a profit, a return on investment. The stars seem so far away.

  6. NASA wants to keep people engaged so they don’t balk at the obscene amount of taxpayer dollars going into these fascinating but utterly useless pet projects, which is really just welfare for ivory-tower scientists.

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