Want your name on a microchip bound for the Red Planet? It's totally free, you'll earn NASA "frequent flyer miles", and your name will be on Mars. Here's how to sign up.
This isn't the first time that NASA has offered to send our names into space. Last year, the microchipped names of 1.38 million people flew on the Orion spacecraft's first flight. Now comes the chance to be part of an exciting stage of Mars exploration: your name can accompany InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport), a geophysical lander designed to study deep below the surface of Mars.
Sign up for free right here. All you need to provide is your name, email, and zip code, and you'll have an account for future missions as well. NASA has a fun "frequent flyer" tally of miles and badges that some space fans like to collect. For my trip to Mars, I'll be earning 297,805,305 miles. As soon as I joined, I was issued a neat #journeytomars "boarding pass" that I'm tempted to print out and keep forever, along with the knowledge that my name will one day reside on the Red Planet. I don't think I've ever signed up for anything so fast in my life.
The last day to register to have your name aboard InSight is September 8, 2015. The scheduled date of departure is March 4, 2016. What on Earth are you waiting for?