NASA

Cast Your Vote to Name the Fifth NASA Mars 2020 Rover

The unnamed robotic scientist weighs more than 2,300 pounds and will pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.

NASA

Since 1997, NASA has sent four rovers to reveal new discoveries on Mars: Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity and Curiosity.

What will the name be for the fifth Mars rover expected to launch this year?

The "Name the Rover" contest invited students in kindergarten through 12th grade to suggest a name for the 2020 Mars rover and submit a short essay about their choice. Students from across the world submitted over 28,000 essays.

Over 4,500 judge volunteers, composed of educators, professionals and space enthusiasts from all around the country narrowed the submissions to the top nine finalists.

The nine finalists are:

Endurance: K-4, Oliver Jacobs of Virgina

Tenacity: K-4, Eamon Reilly of Pennsylvania

Promise: K-4, Amira Shanshiry of Massachusetts

Perseverance: 5-8, Alexander Mather of Virginia

Vision: 5-8, Hadley Green of Mississippi

Clarity: 5-8, Nora Benitez of California

Ingenuity: 9-12, Vaneeza Rupani of Alabama

Fortitude: 9-12, Anthony Yoon of Oklahoma

Courage: 9-12, Tori Gray of Louisiana

The rover has a new, more developed wheel design that will allow the rover to drill for coring samples from Martian rocks and soil.

The size of a small SUV, the 2020 Mars rover is equipped with high-resolution cameras that will look directly at the past signs of life on Mars.

In addition, the rover will explore the rocks, dirt and air on Mars to collect samples for future return to Earth.

You can learn more about the nine finalists and cast your vote here. The poll will remain open through Jan. 27.

The rover's new name and the student behind it, will be announced in early March.

The rover is scheduled to launch in July or August 2020 and will land in Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.

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