NASA is now cordially inviting you to send your name to Mars. In a recent statement, the space agency announced that the first Orion test flight will take off on December 4, 2014 from Cape Canaveral. The incredible space craft, looking like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, will take humans farther in space than ever before – to visit asteroids and eventually, Mars.
Over 267,804 people have already signed up to receive their “boarding pass,” allowing them to include their name on a dime-sized microchip on the Orion, which will travel to other destinations beyond low-orbit Earth. The highly advanced technology is designed to soar at speeds up to 20,000 mph through 2,200+ degree Celsium temperatures. On its first test flight, the Orion will circle Earth for 4.5 hours before landing safely in the Pacific Ocean.
By heading over to this link, you can enter your name, along with a few other stats to join the voyage. It’s as easy as that, but hurry! The deadline to sign up is October 31, 2014, on Halloween. After submitting, the NASA website will alsol generate a virtual boarding pass, as seen below:
Ultimately, the purpose of the project is to allow would-be adventurers and non-astronauts to also participate in space exploration. Just for kicks, NASA will track mileage, giving out “frequent flyer award points” in the process. It’s a way to keep people engaged and excited about the mission.
But if flying your name up to the red planet isn’t enough, there’s another option. Mars One, a Dutch company looking to establish a permanent human colony on Mars, is searching for volunteer astronauts to depart in 2022. If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft will land on the planet in 2023, but there’s a catch. It’s a one-way ticket. Currently, there is no technology to return. The necessary funds to carry out the mission will also round out to close to $6 billion doors…
Still, that hasn’t stopped thousands of people from signing up.