“Send Your Name” Card Attached to Endurance: A poster commemorating NASA’s “Send your name to Mars” campaign was installed on the rover Persevarnce Mars. Three silicon chips (upper left corner) were stenciled with 10,932,295 names and essays from 155 finalists in NASA’s “Name the Rover” contest. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech. Full image and caption ›
As part of NASA̵
NASA’s “Send Your Name to Mars” campaign urged people around the world to submit their names to ride the agency’s next rover to Red Planet. About 10,932,295 people did just that. The names stencils with electron beam on three large nail-sized silicon chips, along with the essays from the 155 finalists in NASA’s “Name the Rover” competition. The chips were then attached to an aluminum plate on NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on March 16. Scheduled to launch this summer, Perseverance will land at Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021.
The three tiles share space on the anodized plate with a laser etched graphic showing the Earth and Mars joined by the star giving light to both. While remembering the rover connecting the two worlds, the simple illustration also commemorates the elegant line art of the plaques aboard the Pioneer spaceships and golden boards worn by Voyagers 1 and 2. Attached to the center of the rover’s rear cross beam, the plate will be visible to cameras on Perseverance’s mast.
At present, coronavirus has not affected the launch schedule for Mars Perseverance rover. The installation was one of many recent activities carried out by the Perseverance assembly, test and start operations. On March 21, the team began reconfiguring the rover to ride on top of the Atlas V rocket. The steps included stowing the robotic arm, lowering and locking in place the remote sensing mast and high gain antenna, and retracting its legs and wheels.
Perseverance rover is a robotic scientist weighing just under 2,300 pounds (1,043 kg). It will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize Mars’ climate and geology, collect specimens for future return to Earth, and help pave the way for human exploration of the red planet.
JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, is building and will manage the operations of the Mars Perseverance rover for NASA. The agency’s Launch Services program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management. The March 2020 project with its Perseverance rover is part of a larger program that includes missions to the moon as a way to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. NADA, loaded with returning astronauts to the moon in 2024, will establish a lasting human presence on and around the moon in 2028 through NASA’s monthly exploration of Artemis.
For more information about the assignment, go to:
For more on NASA’s Moon to Mars plans, visit:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.