Nearly 11 million people have participated in a NASA public event, through which they can send their names, stenciled on chips, to Mars along with NASA's Mars 2020 rover.
The event started in late May and lasted until Sept. 30. People from around the world have sent in nearly 11 million names to fly aboard Mars 2020. Submissions from Turkey, India and the United States led the way.
Over 292,000 Chinese participated in the event.
Those who sent their names to the Red Planet on the Mars 2020 mission got souvenir boarding passes. Their names, stenciled on chips, will be affixed to the rover, according to NASA.
Built and managed by engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Mars 2020 rover will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in July 2020 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral. The spacecraft is expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021.
The rover, weighing more than 2,300 pounds (over 1,000 kg), will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for its future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.