Thursday, January 23, 2020

Public Invited to Vote to Name NASA's Mars 2020 Rover--By This Monday, Jan. 27

NASA's Mars 2020 Rover needs an official name.
(Image Sources: NASA,, By NASA/JPL-Caltech -, Public Domain,

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

In October, SpaceWatchtower publicized the NASA naming contest, for American students, for the Mars 2020 Rover, scheduled to launch to the Red Planet this Summer. Well, the finalists have been announced, and now the public is invited to vote for your favorite name, from the final candidates.

The nine finalist names are (submission name, grade level, student name and state) :

  • Endurance, K-4, Oliver Jacobs of Virginia
  • 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

While the naming contest was limited to students in any school (Kindergarten through Grade 12, including home school students) in the United States, anyone in the world can vote in the public poll for their favorite name on-line, for the Mars 2020 Rover. The deadline for voting is Monday, 2020 January 27 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) / January 28, 4:59 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The results of the poll will be a consideration in the final naming selection.

Vote in the Public Poll at this Internet link:

More than 28,000 student essays were submitted after the contest began on August 28 of last year; the students were required to write an essay explaining their choice of rover name. A diverse panel of nearly 4,700 judge volunteers, composed of educators, professionals, and space enthusiasts from all around the country, narrowed the pool down to 155 deserving semi-finalists from every state and territory in the country. 

"Thousands of students have shared their ideas for a name that will do our rover and the team proud," said Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division in Washington. "Thousands more volunteered time to be part of the judging process. Now it is the public's opportunity to become involved and express their excitement for their favorites of the final nine."

At the conclusion of the public poll, the nine student finalists will discuss the proposed rover names with a NASA panel which includes Lori Glaze, Director of NASA's Planetary Science Division in Washington, NASA Astronaut Jessica Watkins, NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory Rover Driver Nick Wiltsie, and Clara Ma, who earned the honor of naming the Mars Rover Curiosity as a sixth-grade student in 2009.

The contest will finish-up in March, when the winning name will be announced, along with the student who proposed the name. The winning student will receive an invitation to watch the launch of the Mars 2020 Rover in July or August from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

NASA calls the Mars 2020 Rover a “robotic scientist,” which weights more than 2,300 pounds / 1,000 kilograms. This robotic scientist will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. After the launch in July or August, the Mars 2020 Rover is scheduled to land in Mars' Jezero Crater on 2021 February 18.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Mars 2020 Rover:
Link 1 >>>
Link 2 >>>

Related Blog-Posts ---

"For Students: Mars 2020 Name the Rover Essay Contest By Nov. 1." Tue., 2019 Oct. 15.

Link >>>


"Place Your Name on Mars 2020 Rover Microchip By This Monday, Sept. 30." 2019 Sept. 26.

Link >>>


"Help Astronomers Name Large Kuiper Belt Asteroid." 2019 April 26.

Link >>>

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
              Thursday, 2020 January 23.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator: >
Electronic Mail: < >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < >


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