NASA’s next ambassador to Mars is here, and its name is Perseverance.
The name of the rover was announced on March 5th after a six-month long contest that included entries from people in kindergarten through high school. More than 28,000 essays were written in order to suggest their name. Ultimately, the winning entry was that of Alex Mather, a 7th grader who has been interested in being a NASA engineer since going to their Space Camp when he was 11.
Alex was able to read from his winning essay at the naming event, in which he described how: “We are a species of explorers, and we will meet many setbacks on the way to Mars. However, we can persevere.”
In addition to the rover being named after his idea, Mather and his family have also been invited to the launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida in July.
A team of 4,700 judges, all volunteers, narrowed down the total entries down to 155, which NASA then chose from. Other finalists included Clarity, Courage, Endurance, and Ingenuity.
Formerly named “Mars 2020”, the rover is set to land in a dry river delta Mars’ Jezero Crater in January 2021. From there, it will undertake a two-year mission in which it will search for signs of ancient life, collect dirt and rock from the planet, and then another mission to Mars in the future can bring those samples back to Earth.
We are sure that winning this content has only increased Mathers’ desire to work for NASA, and we can not be happier for him.
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