Share article:
Share article:

27,550 Belgians accompanied Perseverance rover to Mars

Perseverance lands on Mars. © NASA

The NASA rover Perseverance, which landed successfully on Mars two days ago, brought with it the names of 27,550 Belgians.

The Belgian well-wishers were among the more than 10 million names gathered from all over the world, and contained in three chips, each the size of a fingernail, attached to a plate inside the rover.

Between May and September 2019, the US space administration NASA invited members of the public to take part in the historic mission by sending in their names. More than 10 million did so, including a surprisingly large number of Turkish people – 2.5 million in all.

Exactly 27,550 Belgians joined in, including the entire sixth year of primary schools in Boutersem near Leuven.

Everyone who signed up received a ‘boarding pass’ as a souvenir.

But interplanetary rovers, it turns out, are like buses: there will be another one along shortly.

NASA is now inviting entries from anyone who would like to be represented on board a future mission to the red planet, at a date later to be decided. Five million names have already been gathered.

The plate on board Perseverance carrying the chips containing the names of 10 million Earthlings.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

European Council: Decisions on Covid-19 and energy and debate on other issues
At the two-days summit which ended on Friday, the European Council adopted conclusions on COVID-19, digital, energy prices, migration, trade and ...
Flanders ‘water bomb’ could cause €2 billion in damages and affect thousands
The next "water bomb" or heavy rainfall over Flanders could cause damages estimated at around €2 billion, and could affect up to 100,000 people in ...
Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine 90% effective in 5 to 11-year-olds
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic forms of the coronavirus in children aged five to 11, Pfizer announced on ...
Belgian airport named best for cargo in Europe
Brussels Airport has been named the best airport in Europe in a 2021 roundup of the best cargo airports across the world. The Asian Freight, ...
NASA plans first return mission to Moon in February 2022
The United States space agency, NASA, has announced that it will be aiming to launch its first, uncrewed mission to the moon, Artemis 1, in February ...
New, reportedly more contagious Delta mutation being monitored
A new mutation of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is reported to be more contagious, is being monitored by health authorities in the ...
Angèle releases new single: ‘Bruxelles je t’aime’
Belgian singer Angèle has unveiled her latest song ahead of the release of her new album, due later this year. 'Bruxelles je t'aime' (Brussels I ...
23 million chickens and 1.7 million pigs: Climate experts call for livestock cut
Flander's livestock needs to be drastically cut to save the climate and reach the emission reduction targets, according to the latest advice from the ...
Vaccination uptake surges in Wallonia following CST announcement
The number of people getting vaccinated against the coronavirus increased fourfold in Wallonia after it was announced that the Covid Safe Ticket ...
Guilty by association
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES Weekly analysis and untold stories With SAM MORGAN Other Brussels behind the scenes stories: Brussels' bid to make ...
Health minister supports use of Covid Safe Ticket in workplace
As the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) has been expanded in Brussels and is set to in Wallonia, federal health minister Frank Vandenbroucke has ...
Maggots show Conings may have lived longer following disappearance
Former army soldier Jürgen Conings, whose disappearance in mid-May resulted in a month-long manhunt, may have been alive for longer than has been ...