Space & Astronomy
Official name of Mars 2020 rover is revealed
By T.K. Randall
March 6, 2020 · 15 comments
Curiosity is set to be joined by the new rover in February 2021. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
NASA has finally decided upon a name for its upcoming Mars rover and no, it's not called Rover McRoverface.
A follow-up to the space agency's long-lived Curiosity rover which has been trundling around on the Martian surface since 2012, NASA's latest Mars rover looks very similar to its predecessor.
Inside however, it has been equipped with several new additions including a helicopter drone and new scientific instruments designed to search for evidence that Mars was habitable in the distant past.
The rover will also be tasked with collecting samples of soil and leaving them in special caches for a future rover to come and retrieve as part of an ambitious sample-return mission.
While for years the rover had simply been referred to as "Mars 2020", the space agency has now finally decided on a proper name for it - Perseverance (or 'Percy' for short).
"Yes, it's curiosity that pulls us out there, but it's perseverance that does not let us give up," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.
"There's no exploration without perseverance."
The name was picked from over 28,000 essay submissions by K-12 students around the country. The winning entry was written by Alex Mather from Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia.
"We are a species of explorers, and we will meet many setbacks on the way to Mars," he wrote. "However, we can persevere. We - not as a nation but as humans - will not give up."
"The human race will always persevere into the future."
Perseverance will launch sometime between July 17th and August 5th of this year.
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