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Seventh-grader from Virginia names NASA's next Mars rover 'Perseverance'

ANI | Updated: Mar 06, 2020 07:11 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar 6 (ANI): Thomas Zurbuchen, the Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has announced the official name of its Mars 2020 rover-- 'Perseverance.'
The winning name was entered during a nationwide contest by Alexander Mather, a seventh-grade student in Virginia. The agency's 'Name the Rover' essay contest received overwhelming entries from 28,000 K-12 students from every US state and territory.
"Alex's entry captured the spirit of exploration. Like every exploration mission before, our rover is going to face challenges, and it's going to make amazing discoveries. It's already surmounted many obstacles to get us to the point where we are today -- processing for launch," said Zurbuchen on Thursday during a celebration at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia.
He added, "Alex and his classmates are the Artemis generation, and they're going to be taking the next steps into space that lead to Mars. That inspiring work will always require perseverance. We can't wait to see that nameplate on Mars."
Meanwhile, Mather said that this was a chance to help the agency that put humans on the Moon and will soon do it again.
"This Mars rover will help pave the way for the human presence there, and I wanted to try and help in any way I could. Refusal of the challenge was not an option," he said.
Along with forever being associated with the mission, Mather will also receive an invitation to travel with his family to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to witness the rover begin its journey when it launches this summer.
NASA's Perseverance rover is a robotic scientist weighing just under 2,300 pounds (1,043 kilograms).
"Managed for the agency by JPL, the rover's astrobiology mission includes searching for signs of past microbial life. It also will characterize the planet's climate and geology, and collect samples of Martian rocks and dust for a future Mars Sample Return mission to Earth while paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet," read NASA's release.
NASA's Perseverance rover is a robotic scientist weighing just under 2,300 pounds (1,043 kilograms). Managed for the agency by JPL, the rover's astrobiology mission includes searching for signs of past microbial life. It also will characterize the planet's climate and geology, and collect samples of Martian rocks and dust for a future Mars Sample Return mission to Earth while paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, added the release.
Mars 2020 is part of a larger program that includes missions to the Moon as a way to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. (ANI)

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