A placard that contains the names of 10,932,295 people and essays written by the finalists of NASA's "Name the Rover" contest was mounted on NASA's new Mars rover, the Perseverance, almost two weeks ago. The data was stored on three microchips that are mounted on the placard by an electron beam. Though they might seem significant, the chips are as big as a fingernail. Status Of The Initiative NASA's "Send Your Name to Mars" challenge provoked people to send their names to cruise along with the new Mars Rover. The microchips were then placed on a special plate with a unique design, which is a tribute to the connection between our planet and Mars. Thankfully, the coronavirus situation hasn't impacted the rover program, which is running on schedule. The installation process is one of the many recent activities that were performed to advance the status of the mission. On 21 March, the team made preparations and adjustments so that they will ultimately be available to attach the rover to the Atlas V rocket. About The Rove The Perseverance rover weighs a tad over a tonne (1,043 kilograms - about 2,300 pounds). It will analyze Mars thoroughly by looking for traces of past microbial life, describing the climate and geology of the planet, and collecting precious samples from the planet's surface. Those steps will be a big step in humanity's exploration of the Red Planet and perhaps one of the most vital phases of colonizing it. Relatives The Perseverance is not the first Mars Rover. You might have previously heard about NASA's Curiosity Rover, which has long outlived its predicted lifespan and keeps on going! Also, the Opportunity Rover has lived a long life on the Red Planet until communication was lost in 2018. It has traveled more than 45 kilometers during its 14-year service period.