Norman student's 'Fortitude' in online poll to pick Mars rover name

Pablo Tucker
January 25, 2020

The panel will include astronaut Jessica Watkins, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab rover driver Nick Wiltsie and also Clara Ma who named the Mars rover Curiosity when she was in the sixth grade.

The US space agency invited students aged four to 18 in America to name the rover by entering an essay competition.

According to Space Flight Now, volunteer judges from around the country selected 155 semifinalists from 28,000 submissions in NASA's "Name the Rover" essay contest for children in kindergarten through 12 grade.

The contest will conclude in early March, when the rover's new name - and the student behind it - are announced.

It's hoped that it'll lead the way for more human exploration of the red planet in the future. It's expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021. Have your say below!

The public input is one foundation NASA will use to pick the last name, and the organization is along these lines urging people to decide in favor of their preferred online at

NASA's Curiosity rover, a space exploration vehicle created to move across the surface of Mars, recently experienced a temporary freeze after it became confused about its own orientation.

NASA's Mars 2020 rover is one step closer to having its own name after 155 students across the US were chosen as semifinalists in the "Name the Rover" essay contest. The victor will be invited to watch the rover launch in July from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Bottom line: Vote from among nine finalists to choose the name for the Mars 2020 rover.

"Thousands of students have shared their ideas for a name that will do our rover and the team proud", said Glaze. The space agency will take the poll into consideration when it picks the victor, which is expected to be announced in early March. A panel of almost 4,700 judge volunteers, composed of educators, professionals and space enthusiasts from all around the country, narrowed the pool down to 155 semifinalists from every state and territory in the country. NASA's Launch Services Program, based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management.

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