Students asked by NASA to name new Mars Rover … what could possibly go wrong?

Red rover, red rover, send a stupid name for Mars 2020 right over!

Yes, NASA is rather bravely asking students to propose a name for its next Mars rover mission. Hmmm. Darth McSith-Face, anyone? Red Robbie the Planet Destroyer? Dalek-Bucket Donald? Come on, get your frack on and let’s be creative, here!

Starting Tuesday 3rd September, students can enter the Official Mars 2020 Name the Rover essay contest. One grand prize winner will name the rover and be invited to see the spacecraft launch in July 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

“This naming contest is a wonderful opportunity for our nation’s youth to get involved with NASA’s Moon to Mars missions,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, ignoring our hysterical comments. “It is an exciting way to engage with a rover that will likely serve as the first leg of a Mars Sample return campaign, collecting and caching core samples from the Martian surface for scientists here on Earth to study for the first time.”

Students asked by NASA to name new Mars Rover ... what could possibly go wrong?
Students asked by NASA to name new Mars Rover … what could possibly go wrong?

The Mars 2020 rover is a 2,300-pound robotic scientist that will search for signs of past microbial life, characteristic the planet’s climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.

“Our Mars 2020 rover has fully taken shape over the past several months, as the project team installed various components onto the chassis: the computer brain and electronics; wheels and mobility system; robotic arm; remote sensing mast; the seven science instruments; and finally, the sample caching system,” added George Tahu, Mars 2020 program executive. “All that’s missing is a great name!”

To enter the contest, students must submit their proposed rover name and a short essay by Nov. 1st 2019.

It should no more than 150 words, explaining why their proposed name should be chosen.

As part of the final selection process, the public will have an opportunity to vote online on the nine finalists in January 2020.

Let the fun time begin, spacers!

NASA will announce the selected name on Feb. 18th 2020 – one year before the rover will land on the surface of Mars.

For complete contest and prize details, visit:



Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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