Applications from Turkey to NASA’s recent campaign to send individuals’ names to Mars next year have vastly surpassed all other countries’ lists, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.
Although it will be years before the first humans set foot on Mars, NASA has given the public an opportunity to send names, stenciled on chips, to the Red Planet with NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, which represents the initial leg of humanity’s first round trip to another planet.
According to data on the space giant’s official website, more than 13 million people from Turkey had submitted an entry, far exceeding the 430,000 applications from the second-spot United States as of May 24. Interest in the symbolic campaign was also high from India, with nearly 410,000 applications. Mexico followed with 94,000.
Applicants also get a digital boarding card to mark the voyage.
The rover is scheduled to launch as early as July 2020, with the spacecraft expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021.
The rover, a robotic scientist weighing more than 1,000 kilograms, will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.