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Mars rover
More than 28,000 students submitted names for the rover that NASA plans to launch toward Mars in July. (NASA / JPL-Caltech Illustration)

NASA and an army of nearly 4,700 volunteer judges have selected nine potential names for a rover that’s due to be launched to Mars in July, and you have just six days to cast an online vote for your favorite name.

  • NASA kicked off the “Name the Rover” essay contest last August, and more than 28,000 name suggestions and accompanying essays were received from students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It took weeks for the judges to narrow down the field, first to 155 semifinalists, and then to the nine finalists — three for grades K-4, three for grades 5-8, and three for grades 9-12.
  • The K-4 suggestions are Endurance (from Virginia’s Oliver Jacobs), Tenacity (from Pennsylvania’s Eamon Reilly) and Promise (from Massachusetts’ Amira Shanshiry). In the 5-8 category, the names are Perseverance (from Virginia’s Alexander Mather), Vision (from Mississippi’s Hadley Green) and Clarity (from California’s Nora Benitez). In the 9-12 category, you can pick between Ingenuity (from Alabama’s Vaneeza Rupani), Fortitude (from Oklahoma’s Anthony Yoon) and Courage (from Louisiana’s Tori Gray).
  • The online voting booth is open until 9 p.m. PT Jan. 27. Poll results will be considered, along with other factors, and the winning name will be announced in early March. The student whose name is selected will receive an invitation to watch this summer’s launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
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