NASA wants your help to name the next Mars rover

FILE - This image made available by NASA shows the planet Mars. This composite photo was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s. In our solar system family, Mars is Earth’s next-of-kin, the next-door relative that has captivated humans for millennia. The attraction is sure to grow on Monday, Nov. 26 with the arrival of a NASA lander named InSight. (NASA via AP, File)(AP)
NASA is looking to name its next Mars rover — and it wants your help.

From 28,000 essays by school students of all ages across the country, the space agency has narrowed its list of finalists to exactly nine. They are:

  • Clarity
  • Courage
  • Endurance
  • Fortitude
  • Ingenuity
  • Promise
  • Perseverance
  • Tenacity
  • Vision

Two D.C. region kids are among the finalists: Arlington elementary school student Oliver Jacobs suggested “Endurance,” while Springfield middle school student Alexander Mather came up with “Perseverance.”

Public voting on the name is now open on NASA’s website through Monday, Jan. 27. The winner will be announced March 15th.

NASA’s currently unnamed 2,300-pound robot is set to blast off Earth this summer. After landing on Mars’ Jezero Crater in February of 2021, the rover will hunt for signs of past microbial life, collecting samples for eventual return to Earth and helping pave the way for future human exploration.

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