Equipped with over 20 cameras, a powerful drill, and even a small helicopter, the mission will help lay the groundwork for possibility of human life on Mars in the upcoming future.
To celebrate the mission, NASA gave the public the chance to give the plucky rover a name. Students from kindergarten to 12th grade across the United States were given the chance to submit their choices for names. From 28,000 submissions, nine candidates have been given the honor of being one of the finalists in the “Name the Rover” contest.
The contest, which opened in August, allowed students to submit their name ideas, along with an essay explaining their choice, to NASA. Almost 5,000 judges from different backgrounds and disciplines judged the essays and chose the winning submissions.
There’s no “Rover McRoverface” in the list — for better or worse — but the list does include a selection of appropriately visionary names.
- Endurance – Oliver Jacobs of Virginia
- Tenacity – Eamon Reilly of Pennsylvania
- Promise – Amira Shanshiry of Massachusetts
- Perseverance – Alexander Mather of Virginia
- Vision – Hadley Green of Mississippi
- Clarity – Nora Benitez of California
- Ingenuity – Vaneeza Rupani of Alabama
- Fortitude – Anthony Yoon of Oklahoma
- Courage – Tori Gray of Louisiana
Now that the finalists have been selected, it’s the public’s turn to help decide what the official name will be. By voting here, everyone will have the chance to have a say in what the Mars 2020 rover will officially be called. The poll will remain open until January 27, 2020.
Once the voting is over, the nine finalists will present their ideas to a panel at NASA, which includes Clara Ma, who won the honor of naming Curiosity in 2009.