More than 1.3 lakh Indians have booked a flight to Mars which is a part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s InSight mission.
InSight, which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is slated to be launched on May 5, 2018. InSight is a 728-day mission, which is expected to land on Mars on November 26, 2018.
A total of 24,29,807 people across the world have submitted their names for the mission. Of this, 6,76,773 people are from the United States, 2,62,752 from China and 1,38,899 from India. United Kingdom, with 96,241 names, comes fourth.
The space agency has said that those who have submitted their names have been provided online boarding passes. All the names are reviewed, approved and then etched onto a microchip, the space agency has said. The microchip will then be placed aboard the spacecraft, which will land on Mars.
According to Nasa, “by using sophisticated geophysical instruments, InSight will delve deep beneath the surface of Mars, detecting the fingerprints of the processes of terrestrial planet formation, as well as measuring the planet’s vital signs”. InSight seeks to answer one of science’s most fundamental questions – how terrestrial planets formed?