A Martian — even if only in name
NASA’s chip with a million names inscribed is a safer option than Mars One.
Still, many may still long for at least a part of themselves being there in letter if not body or spirit on that red planet. So, Nasa’s latest offering seems eminently more doable — sending at least the names of actual people to Mars. Sadly, the lettering will not be visible to the naked eye as the text will a thousand times smaller than the breadth of a human hair. Presumably the lack of available space aboard the space vehicle necessitated downsizing — so that a million names can be inscribed on a single centimetre of surface. But it’s still better than only watching reruns of 'Total Recall' and imagining themselves in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role.
Anyway, even if there will be no one on Mars to read those names, at least the senders will have a memento for their scrapbooks or grandchildren — a ‘boarding pass’ for the Mars trip with their monikers duly printed. But surely they deserve also some Mars dust as a souvenir?