In preparation for the launch of the Mars 2020 “Name the Rover” contest, NASA has confirmed the selection of two partner organisation that will run the nationwide contest. The contest is expected to open to K-12 students from US schools towards the end of 2019.
NASA announced the selection of Battelle Education and Future Engineers to facilitate the “Name the Rover” contest in a press release late yesterday. The release described the contest as part of “NASA’s efforts to engage the public in its missions to the Moon and Mars.”
“We’re very excited about this exceptional partnership,” said George Tahu, Mars 2020 program executive in NASA’s Planetary Science Division. “Contests like this present excellent opportunities to invite young students and educators to be a part of this journey to understand the possibilities for life beyond Earth and to advance new capabilities in exploration technology.”
The currently unnamed rover is scheduled to be launched in July 2020. Six months later in February 2021, the 1,000-kilogram (2,300-pound) rover will touch down on the surface of Mars to begin its search for signs of past microbial life and to study the planet’s climate and geology. The mission will also carry a small helicopter and collect samples for a future return mission.