Virginia Middle School Student Earns Honor of Naming NASA's Next Mars Rover

NASA chose seventh-grader from Virginia as winner of the agency’s “Name the Rover” essay contest. Alexander Mather’s entry for “Perseverance” was voted tops among 28,000 entries.

NASA’s next Mars rover has a new name – Perseverance.

The name was announced Thursday by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, during a celebration at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia. Zurbuchen was at the school to congratulate seventh grader Alexander Mather, who submitted the winning entry to the agency’s “Name the Rover” essay contest, which received 28,000 entries fromK-12 students from every U.S. state and territory.

NASA has chosen a name for its next Mars rover: Perseverance. The name was announced March 5, 2020, by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington during a celebration at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia. Zurbuchen was on hand at the school to congratulate Alexander Mather, who submitted the winning entry to the agency’s “Name the Rover” essay contest, which received 28,000 entrants from K-12 students from every U.S. state and territory.

“Alex’s entry captured the spirit of exploration,” said Zurbuchen. “Like every exploration mission before, our rover is going to face challenges, and it’s going to make amazing discoveries. It’s already surmounted many obstacles to get us to the point where we are today – processing for launch. Alex and his classmates are the Artemis Generation, and they’re going to be taking the next steps into space that lead to Mars. That inspiring work will always require perseverance. We can’t wait to see that nameplate on Mars.”

Seventh-grader Alexander Mather of Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia, submitted the winning entry in the agency’s “Name the Rover” essay contest, making the case to name the Mars 2020 rover “Perseverance.”
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