WASHINGTON, DC -- When NASA's next Mars rover blasts into space this summer it will have the name Perseverance courtesy of a Fairfax County 7th grader. As part of a naming contest for U.S. school children, the space agency announced that Alex Mather's essay was the winning entry in the contest.
“We asked kids in the United States to submit 150 word essays, we got 28,000 of them, and it took us months to pour through them. The essays were all about here’s the name we’d like to name the rover and here’s why, and so the end result is we’ve picked what we believe is the top essay and name and that’s Perseverance,” Dr.Jim Green, Chief Scientist for NASA told 104.7 Wonk FM.
Mather’s essay said he named the rover Perseverance because to him that is the most unique quality about humanity. NASA agreed.
“Perseverance is really all about what it takes for a mission to be able to be put together, land, rove, and survive. It does take perseverance,” Green explained.
Mather and his family will be on hand at Cape Canaveral, Florida in July to witness Perseverance's blast off into space. The 7th grader in the meantime has his sights set on becoming an engineer and work for NASA.
Listen to the full interview with the Chief Scientist for NASA, Dr. Jim Green here: