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Last Updated : Jan 14, 2020 03:40 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

NASA shortlists 155 names for its Mars 2020 rover

Of the 155 shortlisted, nine will be selected before the public votes for their favourite name online later this month

Mars 2020 rover (Image: NASA)
Mars 2020 rover (Image: NASA)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s Mars 2020 rover will soon get its own name. This is after more than 155 students across US were chosen as the semi-finalists in the 'Name the Rover' essay contest.

According to the space agency, over 28,000 students across US had participated in the contest.

Out of the 155 shortlisted, only one will be selected. The selected participant will then get to watch the spacecraft launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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Reports suggest that in order to shortlist essays, NASA had recruited volunteer judges from all over the country. According to one report, around 4,700 judge volunteers were selected from a poll of educators, professionals and space enthusiasts.

Of these 155, nine finalists will be selected before the public votes for their favourite name online later this month. The prize winner will then be announced in March.

According to NASA, the rover is a robotic scientist weighing over 2,300 pounds. The rover’s aim is to search for signs of microbial life, collect samples for future return to Earth and pave way for human exploration of Mars. It will also characterise the planet's climate and geology.

The rover, for the first time, will carry a drill for coring the samples from Martian soil and rocks.

In 2017, NASA had shortlisted three landing sites for the rover, including Northeast Syrtis and Jezero Crater.

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First Published on Jan 14, 2020 03:40 pm
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