According to Star Online, over 5,000 Malaysian names will have a seat on the next National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) mission to Mars.

As at time of writing, a whopping total of 5,368 Malaysian names (out of 973,686 names from around the globe) have been submitted to sent on the Orion flight test on 4th Dec, placing the nation in 23rd place for the number of names submitted. The names will be etched on a microchip that will to be sent on Nasa destinations that are literally out-of-this-world.

Source: mars.nasa.gov
Source: mars.nasa.gov

Nasa said in a media release:

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Your name will begin its journey on a dime-sized microchip when the agency’s Orion spacecraft launches Dec 4 on its first flight, designated Exploration Flight Test-1. After a 4.5-hour, two-orbit mission around Earth to test Orion’s systems, the spacecraft will travel back through the atmosphere at speeds approaching 20,000 mph (3,2187 km/h) and temperatures near 4,000°F (2,204°C), before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

But the journey for your name does not end there!

Source: www.thestar.com.my
Nasa’s first completed Orion crew module sits atop its service module at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Source: www.thestar.com.my)

After returning to Earth, the names will also fly on future Nasa exploration flights and missions to Mars. “With each flight, selected individuals will accrue more miles as members of a global space-faring society,” read the statement.

According to Orion program manager Mark Geyer, Nasa is pushing the boundaries of exploration and working hard to send people to Mars in the future. And when they set foot on the “Red Planet”, they’ll be exploring for all of humanity. Hence, flying these names will enable people to be part of their journey.

The deadline for receiving a personal “boarding pass” on Orion’s test flight closes 31st Oct (Friday). However, the public will have an opportunity to keep submitting names beyond 31st Oct to be included on future test flights and future Nasa missions to Mars.

To submit your name to be on Orion’s flight test, click!

For information about the Orion mission, visit their website.

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(Source)

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