Mars 2020 is Now "Perseverance"

Virginia Middle School Student Names NASA's Next Mars Rover

"NASA's next Mars rover has a new name -- Perseverance. The name was announced Thursday by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, during a celebration at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia. Zurbuchen was at the school to congratulate seventh grader Alexander Mather, who submitted the winning entry to the agency's "Name the Rover" essay contest, which received 28,000 entries from K-12 students from every U.S. state and territory. "Alex's entry captured the spirit of exploration," said Zurbuchen. "Like every exploration mission before, our rover is going to face challenges, and it's going to make amazing discoveries. It's already surmounted many obstacles to get us to the point where we are today -- processing for launch. Alex and his classmates are the Artemis Generation, and they're going to be taking the next steps into space that lead to Mars. That inspiring work will always require perseverance. We can't wait to see that nameplate on Mars."

Keith's note: I had a chance to ask a question at the Mars 2020/Perseverance media telecon: "it was good to hear the word Astrobiology and Mars 2020 in the same sentence since this is an overt Astrobiology mission. Astrobiology is an emergent discipline for the 21st Century that the Artemis Generation will be studying as they prepare for careers studying Mars. The word "Astrobiology" is used elsewhere by NASA, and is in the title of innumerable high school and university classes and text books around the world. Is NASA going to use the Mars 2020 mission to enhance the visibility of its Astrobiology program? We humans are going to have as many as 4 rovers on Mars doing Astrobiology in the near future. This is unprecedented. Are there any plans to have coordination of public outreach for the 4 rovers that will soon be doing Astrobiology research on Mars - again as something to inspire the Artemis Generation?"

Lori Glaze replied "We intend to use Mars 2020 to bring visibility to Astrobiology as a discipline and a focus of this mission. We'll also use Dragonfly and Europa Clipper to highlight Astrobiology as well." She added that it is going to be a fantastic international year on Mars with 4 rovers and we are looking to bringing more focus on the partners and cooperation on Mars.

When asked of it is OK to call Perseverance by the nickname "Percy" Thomas Zurbuchen said it was just fine and that this sort of personalization is part of the way that people will identify with the mission.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on March 5, 2020 1:48 PM.

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