Mars Rover Has A Name!

March 12, 2020
Associate Administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen, shakes hands with Alex Mather, the student whose submission, Perseverance, was chosen as the official name of the Mars 2020 rover. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

The name of the new Mars rover is … drum roll, please … bah dadadadadah … Perseverance! Last fall, NASA asked K-12 students to help name the newest Mars rover. Well, ask and you shall receive! More than 28,000 students answered the call and came up with amazing names such as Endurance, Promise, and METIS 2020, as well as reasons for why they chose them. Those 28,000 submissions were narrowed down to 155 semifinalists and then to nine finalists. When the nine were chosen, NASA turned to the public and asked people to vote for their favorite. After nearly two months of waiting, NASA finally announced the name of the new rover. Perseverance was a name that was submitted by ninth-grader Alex Mather from Springfield, Virginia. What was his reason for choosing the name?

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Curiosity. InSight. Spirit. Opportunity. 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. We as humans evolved as creatures who could learn to adapt to any situation, no matter how harsh. We are a species of explorers, and we will meet many setbacks on the way to Mars. 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.”

We couldn’t have said it better. Perseverance, you’re up! We can’t wait to see what you discover!