The NASA selection team released its preliminary list of potential names on Twitter . Most of them aren’t too bad. It’s important to emphasize that only one of the finalists is likely to be chosen and NASA’s selection committee is still discussing options. Three other finalists have been chosen , but at least there’s a possibility that one is added in the wake of a formal announcement. One of those names was chosen late in the afternoon from a pool of over 700 names.
The names, submitted in alphabetical order. The team also released the first batch of the nine finalists , who all meet one or more of the following criteria: 1. Ability to work on the ground 2. Ability to live on the Mars surface. 3. Ability to work in the Mars laboratory (such as in the rover’s control room). 4. Ability to work independently on the Mars laboratory. 5. Ability to be able to safely operate on the Mars laboratory. 6. Ability to live in austere isolation, as long as there is no threat of radiation. (The Mars Life Support Laboratory is being built in Texas.) 7. Ability to work in a climate suitable for life-on-Mars. 8. Ability to work in isolation, as long as there is no threat of harm to others on Mars. 9. Ability to live as close to Mars as possible in austere isolation and with no other humans. The Mars Life Support Laboratory Mars Curiosity Rover will be the first human-to-Mars mission that NASA will make. ( NASA Ames -The Mars Science Laboratory Mission , p. 13)
The Curiosity rover has a variety of scientific instrumentsdesigned to understand the geology and the atmosphere of the surface of Mars. This part of the mission should be completed before the end of the year , when the rover should begin the next part of its plan. (Source NASA - Mars Science Laboratory Mission, p. 13)
The rover’s remote sensing instrument (RMI) has the unique capability to “see” in the ultraviolet (UV) region and to assess in detail the chemical structure of the ancient Martian surface. (Source NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/msl3)
The Mars Science Laboratory is NASA’s first robotic terrestrial exploration mission that will put humans on Mars. ( NASA - Mars Science Laboratory Mission , p. 9-10)