NASA invites students to name Mars 2020 rover

NASA invites students to name Mars 2020 rover

Students in grades K-12 must submit their proposed rover name, along with a short essay of 150 words or less, explaining why their name should be chosen. The victor will get to name the rover as well as watch the spacecraft launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in July 2020, the agency announced. Good luck! What an fantastic opportunity!

NASA began developing the Mars Helicopter Scout concept several years before rover assembly. It it fails to take to the air, the scientific goals of the Mars 2020 mission will not be inhibited.

To participate in the contest, students must submit their proposed rover names before November 1.

NASA Mars Helicopter team members attach a thermal film to the exterior of the small aircraft's flight model.

"The Wright Brothers flew the first airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, but they built it in Dayton", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

An engineer works on attaching NASA's Mars Helicopter to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover - which has been flipped over for that objective - on August 27, 2019, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

NASA will divide the essays into three groups by grade - K-4, 5-8 and 9-12.

Judges will choose 52 semifinalists to represent each state and USA territory, and three finalists then will be selected from each area to advance to the final round. "Three finalists then will be selected from each group to advance to the final round".

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According to NASA, the public will be able to participate in the online voting process of the contest in January 2020.

The US space agency will judge each submission on its originality, significance and appropriateness.

Engineers attached a helicopter to the Mars 2020 rover ahead of its launch next summer.

NASA plans to land the Mars 2020 rover in Jezero Crater.

The Mars 2020 rover is a 2,300-pound robotic scientist that will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.

See NASA's next Mars rover quite literally coming together inside a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The rover is scheduled to touch down at Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, manages rover development for the agency.

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