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Mars 2020 Rover Naming Competition Opens This Fall

As the newest wheeled machine meant to trek the sands of Mars is taking shape in NASA’s laboratories, the effort to give the rover a worthy name is just beginning.
2020 Mars rover needs a catchy name 1 photo
In September 2018, NASA said it will hold a nationwide competition with the goal of selecting the most appropriate name for the rover. As we quickly approach the first anniversary of that announcement, the agency announced new developments.

Two organizations will help NASA in its quest: Battelle Education, a non-profit working in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and Future Engineers, a think tank dedicated to K-12 students.

NASA’s competition too is meant for this age group, who will be asked to submit names for the rover starting this fall. A jury that is yet to be set up and will comprise only U.S. residents will then vote on the most catchy name. (You can apply to be a juror at this link.)

"We're very excited about this exceptional partnership," said in a statement George Tahu, Mars 2020 program executive.

"Contests like this present excellent opportunities to invite young students and educators to be a part of this journey to understand the possibilities for life beyond Earth and to advance new capabilities in exploration technology."

The new Mars rover measures 10 feet long (3 meters), 9 feet wide (2.7 meters), and 7 feet tall (2.2 meters). Being the size of a small car, it is a bit bigger than any of the vehicles deployed so far on the Red Planet.

The rover has many missions to perform on Mars, the most important of which being to generate oxygen, search for signs of life and prepare samples that are to be picked up and sent to Earth at some other time.

It will be launched in 2020 aboard an Atlas V 541 rocket and landing on Mars is scheduled for early 2021.

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