Equipped with online 'boarding passes' from NASA, millions of people are all set to begin their voyage to Mars. The flight to the Red Planet was 'booked' via the upcoming InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) mission, which is scheduled to be launched on May 5, 2018.
As per information from NASA, worldwide 2.4 million people will be 'travelling' to Mars.
All the names of all these passengers will be etched on to a silicon wafer microchip using an electron beam. The letters will contain lines with the size of one one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair. This chip will then be attached to the top hull of the lander.
According to NASA, while the US ranks first on the global list regarding the number of names submitted for the Mars mission, India comes at the third position. China, on the other hand, comes right in the middle of US and India, at the second spot.
A total of 6,76,773 names have been registered from the US, followed by China with 2,62,752 names. India stands at number three with over one lakh names.
Space experts have expected this kind of overwhelming response from the US, since it's a NASA mission. The fact that India came at the third position has become a matter of significance, due to two factors – the heightened interest and curiosity triggered by India's path-breaking Mangalyaan mission and the overall strengthening of India-US ties.
NASA's InSight is a 720-day mission, which is aimed at collecting data from the Martian interior by monitoring 'Marsquakes'. The mission also aspires to gain broader insight into the formation of rocky planets in the entire solar system.