March 06, 2020

NASA has chosen a name for its next Mars rover: Perseverance. The name was announced today by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington during a celebration at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia. Zurbuchen was on hand at the school to congratulate Alexander Mather, who submitted the winning entry to the agency’s "Name the Rover" essay contest, which received 28,000 entrants from K-12 students from every U.S. state and territory.

Perseverance is the latest in a long line of Red Planet rovers to be named by school-aged children, from Sojourner in 1997 to Spirit and Opportunity rovers, which landed on Mars in 2004, to Curiosity, which has been exploring Mars since 2012. In each case, the name was selected after a nationwide contest.

The launch period for Perseverance opens on July 17, 2020. The rover will land at Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.

For more information on the Mars 2020 mission, go to:

For more about the “Name the Rover” contest, visit


[Bekah Sosland-Siegfriedt] NASA’s newest rover is gearing up for its journey to Mars. We’ve been building the rover and getting it ready for launch and kids across the country have played a big part too. We asked for your help to name the rover and you answered the call.

[rover whirring]

[Bekah Sosland-Siegfriedt] 28,000 kids sent in essays with their best ideas, 4,700 judges helped narrow them down, and the world weighed in on their favorites too. Thanks to you, we now have a name. Perseverance!


[Alex Mather] 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.

[audience clapping]

[Jennifer Trosper] That name is going to live on Mars forever because it’s going to be etched on the rover’s robotic arm right there.

[Jennifer Trosper] The rover’s mission is to seek signs of ancient life, collect rock samples for future retrieval, and to pave the way for human exploration of Mars some day. It’s going to be a very exciting mission and perseverance is going to be crucial to it all.

[Bekah Sosland-Siegfriedt] Thanks to all who helped us get here. Be sure to follow the journey of Perseverance as it explores the red planet.






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