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Help NASA Choose the Name For Its Next Mars Rover

Slashdot reader DevNull127 writes: NASA will launch a new rover to Mars this July — and 28,000 American schoolchildren wrote essays with suggestions for what NASA should name it.
NASA has now selected the top nine finalists, which they’ll let the public vote on through Monday on a special web page where they’re also displaying the schoolchildren’s essays. “Scientists are tenacious,” wrote one student who suggested the name Tenacity. “It is what keeps them thinking and experimenting… When scientists make mistakes they see what they did wrong and then try again.

“If they didn’t have tenacity, Mars rovers wouldn’t be a thing.”

The new rover will also be carrying the names of 10,932,295 earthlings, etched onto a microchip.

Bloomberg points out that because Mars and Earth are unusually close in July and August — a mere 39 million miles — another rover will also be launched by the international ExoMars programme (led by the European Space Agency and the Russian Roscosmos State Corporation), while the United Arab Emirates will also try sending an orbiter to Mars, and China will deploy “an orbiter to circle the planet and a rover to land on it.”


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