Over 1 lakh Indians book their flights to Mars


New Delhi: Equipped with proper online ‘boarding passes’, more than one lakh Indians are all set to travel to Mars.

Around 1, 38,899, people from India are Mars-bound. They have ‘booked’ a flight to the Red Planet via NASA’s InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) mission slated for launch on May 5, 2018.

NASA states that those who submitted their names were provided online ‘boarding passes’ for the mission.

The names of all the passengers will be etched on to a silicon wafer microchip using an electron beam to form letters with lines one one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair. This chip will then be attached to the top hull of the lander.

Several Indians responded to NASA’s call for names for the Mars mission. The total number of names received by Nasa from all over the world is 2,429,807.

According to NASA on Wednesday, India ranks third in the global list with regard to the number of names submitted for the Mars mission.

The first is the US with 6, 76,773 names followed by China with 2, 62,752 names. India stands at number three.

Slated for landing near the Mars equator on November 26, 2018, it is a 720-day mission, which will gather data on the Martian interior by monitoring Marsquakes.

NASA states that InSight’s role is not only to study Mars but also to gain broader insight into the formation of rocky planets in the entire solar system.

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