Sep 24, 2019

NASA will send your name to Mars aboard its next rover

Tracks left by the Curiosity rover on Mars. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

There’s still time to send your name to Mars aboard a NASA rover expected to hunt for signs of past life on the Red Planet.

What’s happening: NASA is planning to send a computer chip stenciled with millions of names to Mars aboard the agency’s 2020 rover.

  • The deadline to submit your name for the chip is Sept. 30.
  • So far, about 9.6 million names have been submitted.

Background: This isn’t the first time NASA has sent names to Mars aboard one of its spacecraft. The agency sent about 2 million names to Mars with its InSight lander, when it touched down in 2018.

Go deeper: Add your name to the 2020 rover’s chip.

Go deeper

The UAE's long view to Mars

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

As the U.S., China and others focus on launching rockets and putting boots on the Moon, the tiny Gulf nation of the United Arab Emirates is set on building a settlement on Mars in 100 years.

Driving the news: Last week, the UAE sent its first astronaut, Hazzaa al-Mansoori, to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Go deeperArrowOct 1, 2019

Changing how we protect other planets in the solar system

Mars as seen by the Curiosity rover. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA should consider relaxing some of its guidelines governing how to prevent the contamination of planetary bodies during robotic and human missions, according to a report released Friday.

Why it matters: NASA wants to be sure that if life is eventually found elsewhere in our solar system, it isn’t the result of contamination from our own world.

Go deeperArrowOct 22, 2019

SpaceX and Boeing unlikely to launch astronauts to orbit this year

SpaceX's uncrewed Crew Dragon mission at launch. Photo: SpaceX

Boeing and SpaceX — tasked with building spacecraft to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station for NASA — are not likely to launch people to orbit before the end of the year.

Why it matters: The Commercial Crew program is tasked with ending NASA's reliance on Russia's Soyuz rocket but has faced technical delays and budget shortfalls for years, leaving the space agency dependent on Russia's spaceflight capabilities.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019