NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover Gets New, Official Name: Perseverance (New York Times, 5/5/20)
The next NASA rover headed to Mars, up to now blandly referred to as Mars 2020, has been named Perseverance.
That was the winning moniker selected in NASA’s “Name the Rover” essay contest, which began last summer. Volunteer judges sifted through 28,000 entries from children ranging from kindergartners to high schoolers and selected 155 semifinalists. In January, NASA announced the final nine. (The other eight were Clarity, Courage, Endurance, Fortitude, Ingenuity, Promise, Tenacity and Vision.)
Alexander Mather, a seventh grader from Springfield, Va., submitted the winning essay that proposed the name Perseverance.
“Curiosity. InSight. Spirit. Opportunity,” he wrote. “If you think about it, all of these names of past Mars rovers are qualities we possess as humans. We are always curious, and seek opportunity. We have the spirit and insight to explore the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But, if rovers are to be the qualities of us as a race, we missed the most important thing. Perseverance.”
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