Name the Rover Contest
The Mars 2020 Rover Has a Name!
The next rover to Mars now has its own identity. NASA's "Name the Rover" essay contest is officially complete, and — drumroll, please — the rover's new name is: Perseverance!
Seventh-grader Alex Mather from Springfield, Virginia submitted the winning essay, which was selected by NASA from a field of over 28,000 entries from K-12 students in every state in the U.S.
Meet 'Perseverance'—And the Student Who Named It
Alex's Winning Essay
Curiosity. InSight. Spirit. Opportunity. If you think about it, all of these names of past Mars rovers are qualities we possess as humans. We are always curious, and seek opportunity. We have the spirit and insight to explore the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But, if rovers are to be the qualities of us as a race, we missed the most important thing. Perseverance. We as humans evolved as creatures who could learn to adapt to any situation, no matter how harsh. We are a species of explorers, and we will meet many setbacks on the way to Mars. However, we can persevere. We, not as a nation but as humans, will not give up. The human race will always persevere into the future.”
Alex brainstormed for two weeks before submitting his winning
entry, and was inspired by the path of previous NASA rovers
Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity in describing our
characteristics as a species. Alex says participating in the
contest changed his life. “I got more involved with model
rocketry, 3D printing, and other STEM-related activities.”
does it feel to have his entry chosen? “There are no words
in the human language that can accurately describe the
In addition to the honor of naming the rover, Alex and his family were invited to watch its July 2020 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Mars 2020 Rover Name Announcement
Thank You to All Who Participated
NASA appreciates the efforts of the 28,000 students who
submitted entries, the 4,700 volunteers who signed up to
help as judges, and the fans around the world who
submitted over 770,000 votes in our online poll.
All 155 semifinalists' proposed rover names and essays have been stenciled onto a tiny silicon chip, which will ride along mounted to the top of the rover as Perseverance explores the Red Planet.
Follow the rover's journey on Facebook and Twitter.
Public Poll Participation Map
By participating in the essay contest, students:
- Learned about the Mars 2020 mission
- Applied their critical thinking skills
- Learned something new, and formed questions about a place they may never have heard of
- Conducted research using NASA websites
- Applied their writing skills