Long before I ever stepped foot onto an airplane, I was a huge space buff. At one time, I really wanted to be an astronaut (I guess there probably were a bunch of us kids that felt like that!). While I have not been to space, NASA is offering an opportunity for me (and millions of others) the chance for our names to go to space – and award us 300 million frequent flyer miles at the same time!
NASA Offers Boarding Passes and 300 Million Miles on the Mars Flight
Link: Mars 2020
NASA did something similar on their InSight mission to Mars and collected 2 million names for that journey. They are back at it again in a public engagement move to attract people to have a more personal connection to the Mars Rover flight in 2020.
Interesting tidbit: at the time that I wrote this post, the nation that had the most names submitted was not the US but Turkey!
Now, your name will be stenciled onto a microchip so its not going to be something large, but we are talking about a space vehicle headed to Mars so there isn’t a whole lot of room for much else! Still, it is kind of a cool move and it will give you something on earth to remember it by as well – a boarding pass with your mileage total.
From now through September 30, you can sign-up at this link and have your name submitted to fly aboard the rover for launch in July, 2020.
According to my “official” frequent flyer page, this flight will let me rack up 313,586,649 miles. Not bad! Of course, with no transfer partners and no redemption opportunities, it won’t get me very far but at least something of me will be heading to space!
On another cool, space note, I have had some interesting experiences with space communications! In my very active years as an Amateur Radio operator, I had talked to the astronauts onboard the space shuttle and even had bounced the radio signal off the moon for a contact via what is called moon bounce or EME (earth-moon-earth). Yeah, I am a bit of a nerd. 🙂