Name the Rover Contest

Name the Rover Contest

Frequently Asked Questions

Contest has closed and the winning name, Perseverance, was announced on March 5, 2020.

Who Can Participate

Who can participate?

The contest is open to legal residents of the United States who are registered students in grades kindergarten through twelfth Grade attending a public, private, or home school in the United States (including U.S. Territories or Possessions and schools operated by the U.S. for the children of American personnel overseas).

Can home-schooled students enter this essay contest?


I'm a minor. Can I enter the contest on my own?

No. Entrants at home must get a parent's or legal guardian's permission to enter. Entrants in class must be linked with their teacher's class code to enter.

I'm not a U.S. student, can I still get involved?

Yes, you can participate in the public poll. If you are 18+ years of age and a U.S. resident, you can participate by judging essays.

One of my parents works for NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) or Caltech. Am I eligible to participate?

Sorry, no. Children of NASA, JPL or Caltech employees are not eligible.

Are NASA employee grandchildren eligible to enter?

For the avoidance of doubt, the grandchildren of NASA employees are eligible to enter as long as they don't live in the same household.

If one of my parents works for the sponsor, or other Challenge Party, am I eligible to participate?

No. Children of Future Engineers and Battelle Education are ineligible to participate or win a prize in the contest. However, children of Amazon employees are eligible to participate, unless the Amazon employee is directly involved with working on this Contest.

Essay Submission

Can I submit more than one name?

No, each student can only submit one name/entry.

Can we enter the naming contest as a group/pair/team?

No. Only names proposed by individual students will be considered.

How long are the essays accompanying each entry?

The maximum number of words is 150.

Are participating students divided in age groups?

Yes. Entries will be divided and judged in three groups: Kindergarten to fourth grade; fifth to eight grade; and ninth to 12th grade.

What happens if more than one student proposes the same name?

The judges will compare the essays written in support of each suggested name. Only one student will win the grand prize.

May I send my proposed name and essay via U.S. Mail?

No. Only online entries at "Name the Rover" are accepted. No exceptions.

Can the name be in a different language?

Rover names can be words from a foreign language, ancient language or not even a word at all (for example an acronym or a mashup of words). However, all entries must be readable by English speaking judges. A rover name that is in Greek, Cyrillic, or Japanese characters for example, is not an eligible entry.

Can the rover name be a character in a fictional movie?

If your proposed rover name infringes on the rights of those that own the movie and/or character, then it would not be eligible. If the character is Marie Curie, then it is probably fine. If it is a comic book character, then it is probably not.

Are brand names OK to reference in the essay?

Factually referencing brand names in the essay is OK, but please do not disparage, dilute, defame, or devalue a brand. For example, "The EXAMPLE BRAND dictionary defines Space as ... " is acceptable to include in an essay. Future Engineers reserves the right to remove or reject any entry that is determined to infringe on the intellectual property rights of others.

Can the name be a phrase? Or does it have to be one word?

Yes. Please make sure it is not a copyrighted phrase (for example, many song titles and lyrics are copyrighted).

ArIs it ok to include a reference in the essay?

References are fine.


Where can I find more information on this Contest and are there Official Rules?

Please visit the contest website hosted by Future Engineers "Name the Rover," to review the Official Rules, sign up, and submit your name and essay.

Are there any tips to make me a more competitive applicant?

We encourage you to be yourself. Learn about Mars and the challenges faced by the rovers we send there. Be creative, and have fun giving the next Mars rover an appropriate name.

Will the Mars 2020 rover be named by a student?

Grand Prize Winner's submitted name may be used to name the Mars 2020 rover. However, NASA has no obligation to use the winning name.

Where can I find more information on the Mars 2020 mission?

To keep up with the latest news on the Mars 2020 mission mission, explore the Mission Website.

Where can I find information on postmortem/privacy rights for individuals?

Often times postmortem/privacy rights apply to celebrities or individuals with high value estates, but there is no general rule here. This would have to be to be researched on an entry by entry basis, dependent on the individual.

Last updated on 10/18/2019