PETALING JAYA: Over 5,000 Malaysian names will have a seat on the next National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) mission to Mars.
At press time, a total of 5,368 Malaysian names have been submitted to sent on the Orion flight test on Dec 4, 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.
"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," said Nasa in a media release.
"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.
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.
"Nasa is pushing the boundaries of exploration and working hard to send people to Mars in the future," said Orion program manager Mark Geyer.
"When we set foot on the Red Planet, we'll be exploring for all of humanity. Flying these names will enable people to be part of our journey."
The deadline for receiving a personal "boarding pass" on Orion's test flight closes Friday, Oct 31.
However, the public will have an opportunity to keep submitting names beyond Oct 31 to be included on future test flights and future Nasa missions to Mars.
To submit your name to be on Orion's flight test, visit: go.usa.gov/vcpz
For information about the Orion mission, visit: www.nasa.gov/orion
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