NASA has released a shortlist of its Mars 2020 probe naming contest, selecting one of the nine names, but none of them are “Rovy McRoverface,”media reported. NASA has selected 28,000 names from 28,000 submissions from U.S. elementary and high school students, and will now vote publicly before selecting the winner.
Despite years of planning and construction and planned launches in July 2020 or August 2020, NASA’s Mars 2020 rover has yet to receive an official name. The rover is scheduled to land on Jezero Crater on the Red Planet on February 18, 2021. The unmanned nuclear-powered rolling laboratory will look for evidence of past or present microbial life on Mars and collect geological samples that will be sent back to Earth by future planetary missions.
NASA announced on August 28 last year that it had launched the Mars 2020 probe naming contest and invited American students in the K12 basic education phase to submit an appropriate name. The agency received more than 28,000 names. The judges, consisting of 4,700 volunteers (including educators, professionals and space enthusiasts), selected 155 semi-finalists and selected nine finalists, three for each age group.
According to NASA, these are based on the originality, appropriateness and importance of the name, as well as the quality of the accompanying paper. Each finalist was also interviewed. Those with the highest public vote will receive bonus points.
The nine finalists are:
Kindergarten to Grade 4
Oliver Jacobs, Virginia
Amira Shanshiry, Promise-Massachusetts
5th to 8th grade
Alexander Mather, Perseverance-Virginia
Vision – Hadley Green, Mississippi
Clarity-California’s Nora Benitez
Grades 9 to 12
Ingenuity – Vaneeza Rupani, Alabama
Anthony Yoon, Oklahoma
Courage-Louisiana’s Tori Gray
Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Department, said: “Thousands of students have shared their thoughts, a name that will make our rover team proud. Thousands of volunteers took part in the review process. Now is the time for public participation and expression of their favorite final nine finalists. “
Poll number sits at Go.nasa.gov/name2020, and closes at 9:00 p.m. Pacific on January 27. The competition ends in early March, when the winners and winners will be announced. The awards include an invitation to the winners to watch the Mars 2020 Mars rover launch at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.