Filipinos Rank First in Mars NASA Signup Program to Send Names to the Planet on Future Missions

Garnering over a million name submissions in the Mars NASA signup program; the Philippines ranks first among all other nations with the most number of name submissions to be sent to the planet Mars through the “Send Your Name to Mars” program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

MARS Nasa "Send Your Name to Mars" Program
This image was taken from the website of NASA | mars.nasa.gov

As of 9:20 am of July 31, NASA has garnered 1,219,358 name submissions from the Philippines. The United States closely follows the Philippines with 143,518 reservations, and India with 125,799. The total name reservations received by NASA have reached 2,223,364.

It seems like hundreds of thousands of Filipinos show interest on how they would like to support the research; or are they only doing it for the sake of staying in with the trend?

The Mars NASA signup program, “Send Your Name to Mars,” grants individuals around the globe their desire to send their names in its future missions to the Red Planet. However, there’s no guarantee to it.

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Perseverance, the Latest Mars Rover

The most advanced Mars rover of its nature, Perseverance, is a car-size vehicle bristling with cameras, microphones, drills, and lasers which departed the planet last Thursday – and its landing is part of the most-awaited landings in our generation.

This was a part of an ambitious, long-range project to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth; they are up for analysis to evaluate evidence of ancient life. This can take up years of research, but who knows? We might be not the only one out there.

The Mars rover carried 10.9 million names of people on board as it rode a mighty Atlas V rocket into the sky in the world’s third and final Mars launch of the summer.

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Rover to Land on February

China and the United Arab Emirates got a head start last week; however, all three (3) missions should reach Mars next year in February as it travels through the span of seven months and 300 million miles (480 million kilometers).

And if all goes according to plan, the rover will land on the Red Planet on February 18, 2021, becoming the 5th rover to complete the voyage since 1997.

The plutonium-powered, six-wheeled rover will drill down and collect tiny geological specimens that will be brought home in about 2031 in a sort of interplanetary relay race that involves multiple spacecraft and countries. The overall cost: more than $8 billion.

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Interplanetary Mission

Not only will this mission to the red planet provide any answers to the life-on-Mars question; it  will also offer lessons that could pave the way for the arrival of astronauts as early as the 2030s.

In fact, as per NASA, the initial mission would be for the collection of rock and soil samples. This would be a great milestone for humankind to achieve.

The rover will collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth by future Mars sample return missions. It also will test new technologies to benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars.”

NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, said that it’s not easy to facilitate explorations like this. Moreover, he explains the name behind the Mars rover, Perseverance.

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There’s a reason we call the robot Perseverance. Because going to Mars is hard. It is always hard. It’s never been easy. In this case, it’s harder than ever before because we’re doing it in the midst of a pandemic.”

US Landing

The U.S., the only country to have securely landed a spacecraft on Mars, is expecting its ninth successful landing on the planet; which has proved to be the Bermuda Triangle of space exploration. And, with more than half of the world’s missions there burning up, crashing or otherwise ending in failure.

China is sending both a rover an orbiter. The UAE, a newcomer to outer space, has an orbiter en route.

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In addition to that, two (2) new other NASA landers are also in operation on the red planet such as 2018’s InSight and 2012’s Curiosity rover. Six (6) other spacecraft are exploring the planet from orbit: three from the U.S., two from Europe, and one from India.

It’s the biggest traffic to Mars in spacefaring history. The opportunity to travel between Earth and Mars comes around only once every 26 months when the planets are on the same side of the sun and about as close as they can get.

How do you feel about the Mars NASA mission and name signup programs? Will this finally address the life-on-Mars question that has persisted through for a few years now? How about the fact that the Philippines topped the list for the “Send Your Name in Mars NASA” Program?

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