The winning name will be decided at a June 8 ceremony at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. If the public vote is taken, the winning name will be announced June 24 and will appear on the space agency’s official website.
NASA and the nonprofit space advocacy organization BeyondSpace. The winning entry is “Matter-Antimatter”, which, for simplicity’s sake, is defined as the particles of matter and the other particles of energy.
That’s not very satisfying, huh?
With the naming contest, NASA hopes that the public will learn something about what it is like to become a space ambassador, what it is like to live on the red planet, what it is like for a family to travel and live for a time in orbit, and why the mission is important to all of us.
“NASA’s mission to discover and explore Mars is a part of ongoing global efforts to understand, predict and predict what’s coming in the future,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a statement. “For NASA, joining Mars as the most recent destination is a good test run and also helps us understand what we learn from doing these missions – about ourselves and other worlds.”
Why on Mars? Because it’s there. The most recent plan was to land humans on Mars in the 2030s, but it’s still some time away, and the crew will still need to live up to the goals of the missions it’s sending them to, even while they’re there.
The rover, named Curiosity, will reach the surface of Mars on July 5, 2018. The rover is due to deliver samples of rocks and soil to the laboratory of planetary scientist Jim Erickson of NASA Goddard. The mission should take one year to complete.
It’s always been a dream of mine to fly to Mars, which is why my grandmother took me down to Georgia in a converted Model T Ford with her just a few years ago.
“You know how I know this is right for my granddaughter?” my grandmother said. “Because if we’re sending our children to Mars, they deserve to find out where we’ve gone and why.”