Published: Mon, March 09, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

US Student Wins Contest, Officially Names NASA’s Mars Rover ‘Perseverance’

US Student Wins Contest, Officially Names NASA’s Mars Rover ‘Perseverance’

But we have yet another chapter in the whole saga about potential alien life on Mars. In each case, the name was selected following a nationwide contest. That's when video games took a back seat.

Alex said he wasn't nervous as he read his essay onstage and told fellow students and NASA TV viewers that a trip two years ago to Space Camp in Alabama fueled his interest in space. Alex Mather will get a special invitation to travel with his family to see the rover start its exploration when it liftoffs from Cape Canaveral. The chosen name for the rover was announced on Thursday and was picked by 4,700 volunteer judges. While Mather has received NASA's grand prize in this competition, NASA also is acknowledging the valuable contributions of the semifinalists whose entries were among the top ones considered. But, Alexander Mather, a seventh-grader from a Secondary School in Burke, was congratulated by NASA officials. The space agency announced the victor Thursday at Alex's school in Burke, Va., and he got to read his winning essay live on NASA TV. "The rovers are like us, they have names".

From now on, it will be referred to as the Perseverance rover. Managed for the agency by JPL, the rover's astrobiology mission includes searching for signs of past microbial life.

"While many on our team were at home enjoying turkey, Curiosity produced this feast for the eyes", Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity's project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which leads the Curiosity rover mission, said in the release.

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The six-wheeled robotic explorer will blast off this summer to collect Martian samples for eventual return to Earth. "I saw all these dedicated men and women who for years have invested the full measure of their intellect and stamina into the most technologically advanced rover mission in history - and I saw a lot of smiling faces and high-fives".

The space agency picked the name from nine finalist options that were submitted by U.S. students ranging from kindergarten to high school.

The rover is undergoing final preparations at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

Perseverance is scheduled to land inside the Red Planet's Jezero Crater in February 2021. We have the spirit and insight to explore the Moon, Mars and beyond.

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