Alex Mather, at left, and Vaneeza Rupani at KSC

July 29, 2020

Students Alex Mather, at left, and Vaneeza Rupani, stand near the countdown clock at the News Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 28, 2020.

These students were among 28,000 who participated in a nationwide essay contest to name the Mars 2020 rover.

Alex was selected to name the Perseverance rover, and Vaneeza named the Ingenuity helicopter.

The rover is scheduled to launch July 30, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The rover is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. The rover will search for habitable conditions in the ancient past and signs of past microbial life on Mars. The Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch management.


NASA/Kim Shiflett


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