At least 1.3 lakh Indian citizens have booked their ticket to Mars through NASA's InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) mission which is slated for launch on May 5, 2018. Nasa stated that those who registered their names were provided with an online 'boarding passes' for the mission.
According to reports, the visitor's names are being written on a silicon wafer microchip using an electron beam to form letters with lines on one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair. This chip will then be attached to the top hull of the lander.
A number of Indians responded to Nasa's call for names+ for the mission to the red planet. The total number of names received by NASA from all over the world is 2,429,807. On Wednesday, NASA said that India ranks third in the global list with regard to the number of names submitted for the Mars mission. USA stands first with 6,76,773 names while China has taken the second place with 2,62,752 names.
Well, the space experts are quite surprised with India becoming the third country for the NASA mission. They have attributed India being ranked among the first three nations for two major factors: the excitement and interest in Mars flights triggered by India's ground-breaking Mangalyaan mission+ , and the overall strengthening of India-US space ties.
In an interview with The Times of India, Andrew Good of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said that the deadline to submit names was closed last week and they will not be accepting submissions any more.
The 720-day NASA mission will be landing near the Mars equator on November 26, 2018. It is believed to gather data on the Martian interior by monitoring Marsquakes. However, NASA added that studying Mars is not the only motive of InSight. But, it will also gain broader insight into the formation of rocky planets in the entire solar system.