Just about last month, NASA had invited the people to submit their names to be sent off to Mars and the public has responded with great gusto.
As per NASA, more than 1.6 million people have signed up to have their names etched on a microchip, which will be flown off to the Red Planet via the space agency's upcoming InSight mission. It will take off in May of 2018.
Following the tremendous success and overwhelming response in 2015, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, reopened the opportunity this year. During that open call, nearly 827,000 names were collected for the microchip that now sits on top of the robotic InSight lander.
Once the InSight mission reaches Mars in early 2018, the total number of names on the planet would be a whopping 2,429,807.
Space enthusiasts, who have signed up with their names, have also received downloadable "boarding passes," which will enable them to get engaged in other initiatives for Mars missions.
InSight will be the first mission to look deep beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet's interior by listening for "marsquakes". These quakes travel through geologic materials at different speeds and give scientists a glimpse of the composition and structure of the planet's inside. The insights into how Mars formed will help us better understand how other rocky planets are created.