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I've signed up to send my name on Orion's first flight. Have you?

I've signed up to send my name on Orion's first flight. Have you?
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Face it. You're never going to Mars. But you can send your name. On a thumbnail-sized microchip. Along with more than a million other names.

No, it's not the same, but it's a way of staking a claim to a teeny, tiny place in space history.

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"We did something similar for Curiosity’s mission and have done so for other Mars missions as well," NASA spokeswoman Rachel Kraft told the Los Angeles Times.

For Curiosity's mission more than a million names were submitted, she said. The total this time was pushing 300,000 as of early Thursday. But on Orion, Earthlings' names won't be without company, if things go according to plan. NASA plans for Orion to carry astronauts farther than they've gone before, including to an asteroid and Mars.

While you're back here on Earth, here's the fun your name will have:

On Dec. 4 is Orion's first flight, a 4½-hour test mission around Earth. Then, according to NASA, the microchip packed with names will fly on future NASA flights and missions to Mars.  

"All names submitted will fly on Orion and accrue miles as part of the 'frequent flier' campaign," Kraft said.

You have to apply for your virtual boarding pass for Orion's test flight by Oct. 31.

All that's keeping me from being a NASA astronaut is kinetosis. Follow me at @AmyTheHub

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