Meet 'Perseverance': NASA's Mars 2020 rover has a new name
We don't have to call it "Mars 2020" anymore.
NASA's next Mars rover — a life-hunting, sample-caching robot scheduled to launch this summer — is officially called Perseverance, agency officials announced on Thursday.
The new name suits the car-size rover and its groundbreaking mission nicely, NASA officials said.
"There has never been exploration — never, never been making history — without perseverance," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said during a name-unveiling ceremony today.
"Perseverance is a strong word," he added. "It's about making progress despite obstacles."
Artist's illustration of NASA's 2020 Mars rover, now officially known as Perseverance, on the Red Planet. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Like all of NASA's previous Mars rovers, Perseverance was named via a nationwide student competition. The contest kicked off last year and drew 28,000 essay submissions from K-12 students, NASA officials said.
This huge initial pool was culled to 155 semifinalists, which were whittled further to nine finalists this past January. Those nine included three proposals from each of the three age categories (grades K-4, 5-8 and 9-12). The finalist monikers, and the kids who proposed them, were:
Endurance, K-4, Oliver Jacobs of Virgina.
Tenacity, K-4, Eamon Reilly of Pennsylvania.
Promise, K-4, Amira Shanshiry of Massachusetts.
Perseverance, 5-8, Alexander Mather of Virginia.
Vision, 5-8, Hadley Green of Mississippi.
Clarity, 5-8, Nora Benitez of California.
Ingenuity, 9-12, Vaneeza Rupani of Alabama.
Fortitude, 9-12, Anthony Yoon of Oklahoma.
Courage, 9-12, Tori Gray of Louisiana.
NASA encouraged the public to vote for their favorite of these final nine, but the decision ultimately was made by Zurbuchen.Report a Typo
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