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New Mexico United to Appear on Mars 2020 Rover

August 17, 2019 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - New Mexico United News Release

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - New Mexico United, the state's professional soccer team, was founded on the basis of serving as a unifying force for all of New Mexico. Now, this message is being carried to outer space with a final destination on the red planet.

Sports superfan, Jerry Stoces, contacted New Mexico United in the spring of this year with a unique proposition. He first heard about the team from close friends who reside in Rio Rancho. Thanks to Stoces, the top deck of the Mars Rover will feature a small chip engraved with "New Mexico United." United is the second sports team that Stoces has sent to space. In 2014, Stoces had the LA Kings engraved on a chip that was placed inside of the NASA Orion Space Capsule.

"The gravity of what we are doing has been noticed throughout the country and around the globe," said Peter Trevisani, CEO and majority owner of New Mexico United. "We are proud to carry the name of our home state into new frontiers, including outer space."

Stoces will travel from California to New Mexico to present the official certificate to New Mexico United at the August 17 home match against L.A. Galaxy II. While in Albuquerque, Stoces plans to stop at the University of New Mexico Children's Hospital with NASA teddy bears and goodies for approximately 75 children.

"New Mexico has long played an integral part in NASA's mission of discovery and exploration. From the first Mercury Astronauts testing at the Lovelace Clinic to the discoveries made by the Very Large Array radio telescopes in Socorro to White Sands Missile Range hosting the third space shuttle mission landing of Columbia, to the boundless adventures that await at Spaceport America," said Jerry Stoces. "New Mexico United's name epitomizes everything wonderful about this state and we are so very proud, to take the United, and the amazing citizens of this great state, with us on this voyage of discovery."

The Mars 2020 Rover is slated to launch from Cape Canaveral between July 17 - August 5 of next year and will land on February 18, 2021, near the Jezero Crater on Mars. From there, the rover will spend a little under two years traversing the rocky terrain with New Mexico United along for the ride. The primary goal of this mission is not only to search for signs of habitable conditions for human life but also searching for signs of past microbial life.

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