One Cool Thing: The New Mars Rover Is Aptly Named Perseverance

Image: NASA

NASA asked school children nominate names for the new Mars rover and the agency announced the winner, Perseverance, late last week from among 28,000 nominations.  Alex Mather, a seventh-grader from Springfield, Va., submitted the winning entry and said he was inspired by a NASA Space Camp visit where he saw a giant model of a Saturn 5 rocket there. “Eleven-year-old me saw that and lost his mind,” he said. “I immediately knew that space is something I was doing for the rest of my life.”  The other 8 finalists were:  Clarity, Courage, Endurance, Fortitude, Ingenuity, Promise, Tenacity and Vision. Perseverance is scheduled to land on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. The U.S. is the only nation to land a rover on Mars.  The judges seem to have tapped into the zeitgeist of the moment — if there is anything we need right now it is a bit of perseverance in the face of adversity. Way to go, Alex!

Up Next

One Cool Thing: NASA Spacecraft Fetches A Rock From Nearby Asteroid

One Cool Thing: NASA Spacecraft Fetches A Rock From Nearby Asteroid

NASA announced that its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully touched down on the near-Earth asteroid Bennu after spending two years orbiting it.  Its task was to grab a sample from the asteroid’s surface with its robotic arm.  Bennu sits 200 million miles from Earth (so close) and NASA’s leadership was thrilled with this latest “first” — the […]

Continue Reading 153 words
One Cool Thing: Fireflies in Space

One Cool Thing: Fireflies in Space

When a second-grade class wondered what would happen if a firefly went to space (would it still be able to light up in zero gravity?) their teacher, Maggie Samudio, helped them get the answer by helping her students send an experiment to space. As the New York Times reported, Blue Origin, the rocket company started […]

Continue Reading 134 words
One Cool Thing: Rewriting the Stars In the Name of Equity and Justice

One Cool Thing: Rewriting the Stars In the Name of Equity and Justice

NASA announced this week that it would be changing the nicknames of any celestial bodies that are inappropriate such as “Eskimo Nebula” and “Siamese Twins Galaxy,” for example.  CNN reported on the decision by the agency to re-examine its use of phrases for planets, galaxies, and other cosmic objects “as part of its commitment to […]

Continue Reading 133 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.