India ranks third in the global list of submission of names for NASA's Mars mission.
More than one lakh Indians are all set to fly to Mars! Yes, you heard that right. It’s an opportunity that about 1,38,899 Indians have availed through a NASA mission that is all set to take off for the red planet on May 5 next year. The NASA mission is called InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) mission which is the organisation’s latest Mars Exploration program.
India ranks third in the global list of submission of names for the Mars mission, according to Times of India. The total number of registrations for the Mars mission is 2,429,807. NASA says US tops the list with 6,76,773 names whereas the second spot went to China with 2,62,752 registrations. Experts feel that the reason behind most registrations from the US is this being a NASA mission. But, the emergence of India as an interested participant in the mission holds significance. Scientists believe that the excitement and interest in Indians after the Mangalyaan mission and the strong ties between India and US are the major factors behind this surge in interest by Indians in the InSight mission.
NASA has stated that online boarding passes have been provided to all those who have registered their names for the mission. The names are being etched on a silicon wafer microchip using an electron beam to form letters with lines one one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair. This chip will then be attached to the top hull of the lander, says the TOI report. Meanwhile, the deadline for submitting names for the mission is over, and NASA is no longer accepting applications.