You read correctly: WALL-E and EVE are heading to the Red Planet.
NASA announced that it launched two small satellites named after the beloved characters from the Pixar film this weekend. Officially named CubeSats or MarCOs, these satellites are smaller spacecraft, about the size of a laptop, that are made for more specific missions at a fraction of the cost of their larger predecessors.
They have been lovingly nicknamed WALL-E and Eva (after WALL-E’s pronunciation of EVE) and they’re the first of a new generation of CubeSats that are designed for deep space.
NASA isn’t sure if they’ll survive the journey to the Mars, but should they make it, they’ll relay landing data back to Earth, much like the black boxes found in airplanes. Astronomers hope WALL-E and Eva will help them to better understand the difficult process of landing a spacecraft on Mars. It’s a process NASA has said to be “notoriously hard to stick.”
In the 2008 film, WALL-E is the only surviving robot tasked with cleaning up our planet polluted long after humans evacuated. He met EVE after she was deployed to Earth to search for any signs of life and habitability.
The pair launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 7:05 a.m. ET on Saturday, May 5.