Your Chance to Name the Rover!
Just in case you’re not a Senior Project Scientist at JPL or NASA (or some other fancy job title), this may be your only chance ever to name something that’s going to the Red Planet, Mars.
I wouldn’t, however, mind if you did try to become a fancy-pants scientist so you can build a rover and name it, or, better yet, if you decided to build a rocket in your backyard with enough fuel to make the 10 month trip to Mars don’t make backyard rockets, kids, unless you follow thorough safety proceedures and have adult supervision.
But, chances are you’re not going to get another chance to name a Mars rover so head over here.
The next rover going to Mars is launching in Fall of 2009, and will reach the planet in Summer of 2010. It will be looking for signs that microbial life potentially once existed on Mars such as water, organic molecules, and all that jazz.
But they don’t have a name for it yet, and they’re accepting submissions from everybody grades K-12. You just have to write a short essay under 500 words long (if half my blog posts were that short…) and if they like it enough you get to go to JPL to sign your name on the rover!
They’re hoping that it could last one Martian year (about two Earth years) so that’s a lot of time you can spend pointing up at that little red dot in the night sky and gloating about how something you named is up there looking for signs of extra-terrestrial life.
As an added bonus, if the rover you name does add to our current scientific knowledge in a major way like… evidence of life currently existing on Mars whether it be microbial or complex, big, and multi-cellular I will invite you to the huge “Life on Mars!” party which I will envitably throw as a “special guest speaker” or something fancy.
So, go do it!
(Tip o’ the robotic arm to PrimevilKneivel)