It's Time to Name the Mars 2020 Rover and NASA Is Looking for Suggestions

K-12 students have been asked to submit essays explaining their name suggestions.
Chris Young

November 1 is one deadline that students will want to make sure they don't miss. That's the submission deadline to send their 2020 Mars rover name suggestion -- with an essay explaining their choice -- to NASA.

The rover is well on its way to being ready for launch. Now, all it needs is a name, which is why NASA has opened up a 'Name the Rover' contest for kids.


What's in a name?

For any kids looking to be a part of space history, NASA has presented a great opportunity.

As per Engadget, the competition will be divided into three groups based on grade level (K-4, 5-8, 9-12). The best submissions will be chosen based on appropriateness, originality, and significance.

Anyone who's heard the name Boaty McBoatface knows it's not a great idea deciding a name without a few restrictions.

NASA will decide on 52 semi-finalists per group, each from a different state. The public will then be asked to vote on nine finalists in January 2020.

Finally, the winning name will be revealed on February 18th, 2020 - a year before the rover's expected landing date on Mars.

It's Time to Name the Mars 2020 Rover and NASA Is Looking for Suggestions
Mars selfie: A picture taken by the Curiosity rover, which is already on Mars. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

How about us adults?

For any adults that are a little jealous that NASA didn't open up the competition to adults as well -- worry not. You can still be a part of space history, albeit a much smaller one.

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Until September 30, NASA is allowing people to submit their names to be sent up to Mars along with the 2020 rover.

We look forward to seeing what the final name for the Mars 2020 rover will be and getting the chance to read what will likely be an inspiring submission.

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