NASA offering kids the chance to name its new Mars rover

WASHINGTON (WHDH) - NASA is launching a nationwide contest aimed at giving K-12 students in U.S. schools a chance to make history by naming the Mars 2020 rover.

The Mars 2020 ‘Name the Rover’ contest will be open to students in the fall of 2019 and is part of NASA’s efforts to engage the public in its missions to the Moon and Mars.

The currently unnamed rover is a robotic scientist weighing more than 2,300 pounds that will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.

The spacecraft is targeted for a July 2020 launch and is expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021.

“We’re very excited about this exceptional partnership,” said George Tahu, Mars 2020 program executive in NASA’s Planetary Science Division at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. “Contests like this present excellent opportunities to invite young students and educators to be a part of this journey to understand the possibilities for life beyond Earth and to advance new capabilities in exploration technology.”

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