MUMBAI: As many as 2,62,752 people from China have a booked a flight to the Red Planet (Mars) via Nasa’s InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) mission which is slated to launch on May 5, 2018.
According to Nasa, the first is the US with 6,76,773 names followed by China with 2,62,752 names. India ranks third in the global list with 1,38,889 people whose names have been submitted for the Mars mission.
The total number of names received by Nasa from all over the world is 2,429,807, reported the TOI.
Nasa says that those who submitted their names were provided online ‘boarding passes’ 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.
Andrew Good of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) told TOI that the deadline to submit names was last week and “we are no longer accepting submissions”.
Slated for landing near the Mars equator on November 26, 2018, it is a 720-day mission, which will gather data on the Martian interior by monitoring Marsquakes.
Nasa states that InSight’s role is not only to study Mars, but also to gain broader insight into the formation of rocky planets in the entire solar system.