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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has made an announcement regarding the name of its next Mars rover which has been named as ‘Perseverance’, as announced on Thursday.
The next Mars rover of NASA is said to be the fifth exploratory vehicle on the planet Mars following in the tire tracks of the similarly augustly titled Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity.
The name has been announced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at an event at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia which was to congratulate Alex Mather who is the student of seventh grade who has picked it.
Thomas Zurbuchen who is associate administrator of Science Mission Directorate of National Aeronautics and Space Administration has said that the entry made by Alex has captured the spirit of exploration.
He has also said that, “Like every exploration mission before, our rover is going to face challenges and it’s going to make amazing discoveries.”
Following its forebears, Perseverance which is the next Mars rover of NASA has been named by school- age children in the contest that has been conducted all over the nation.
The names that have been named in the nationwide contest has been started from Sojorner in the year 1997 to the Spirit and Opportunity rovers which has landed on the planet Mars in the year 2004, to Curiosity which has been exploring the Red Planet since the year 2012.
The latest that has been conducted is said to have started in the month of August of the last year with around 4,700 volunteer judges which included the teachers and space enthusiasts whittling down the pool to 155 semifinalists and later nine names have been posted on the website of NASA to the public.
It has been said that more than 770000 votes have been cast online before the winner has been decided by the space agency.
The winner would be receiving an invitation to travel to Cape Canaveral in Florida with his family in order to witness the rover begin its journey when it would launch. The launch has been scheduled between 17th of July and 5th of August in this year.
The project of the next Mars rover which has been named as Perseverance is projected to land in the month of February in the next year 2021.
The project Perseverance is said to have two new objectives: to seek out the signs of the ancient life, and then sample materials and to prepare a cache which can be returned to the planet Earth on a return trip to the planet.
The project has been built on the same technology platform which was used by Curiosity but Perseverance will be able to land in a more precise manner and has an on board system which is to avoid the hazardous terrain on the descent.
This project is also said to have an improved wheel design and would carry a drill for coring the samples from the Martian rocks and soil as it would scour for the signs of the ancient microbial life.
By Shrithika Kushangi