In this May 23, 2014 photo provided by the University of Hawaii, Lucie Poulet, right, uses a geotechnical tool while Annie Caraccio records the data during a previous study outside the domed structure that will house six researchers for eight months in an environment meant to simulate an expedition to Mars, on Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii. Photo: AP

KATHMANDU:  As many as 2,636 Nepalis 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 2,429,807 people across the world have submitted their names for the mission. Of this, 676,773 people are from the United States, 262,752 from China and 138,899 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?


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