The thought of traveling into space sounds both thrilling and frightening. But the idea of sending your name on a space flight to Mars aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover is pretty exciting. That is how it all started. In 2019, NASA was looking for people to sign up to send their full name aboard their upcoming Mars Perseverance Rover mission to Mars in 2020. I, of course, seized the opportunity and signed my name up for the journey. Now the anticipation and waiting began.
Fast forward to March 2020. NASA released an image of the nameplate. All the names submitted (including mine) were etched onto chips in this placard on the Perseverance Mars rover. Talk about literally etching your name into history. Thrilling stuff.
Four months later, in July 2020, while the global pandemic was the dominating force in everyday life here in America and the entire world, the Perseverance Rover lifted off into the sky and onto Mars on its seven-month journey to Mars.
Seven months later, in February 2021, the Perseverance Rover finally landed on Mars. My name was officially on the ground on Mars.
If you thought that was the last time I would ever send my name to Mars, I would have to say you are incorrect. Because I just booked my name for another future trip to Mars – in 2026.