NASA will unveil the name of the agency’s next Mars rover, currently known as Mars 2020, during a live event on NASA Television at 1:30 p.m. EST Thursday, March 5, followed by a media teleconference at 3:30 p.m. about the mission and the naming.
The Mars 2020 rover was the subject of a nationwide naming contest in 2019 that drew more than 28,000 essays by K-12 students from every U.S. state and territory. Nearly 4,700 volunteer judges – educators, professionals, and space enthusiasts from around the country – helped narrow the pool down to 155 semifinalists. A second round of judging selected the nine finalist essays that were open to an online public poll before Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, made the final selection.
The live event will include:
- Thomas Zurbuchen
- Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters
- Deanne Bell, founder and CEO of Future Engineers in Burbank, California
- The student who submitted the winning name and essay
Media are also invited to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, at 9:30 a.m. PST to watch the live feed and interview members of the Mars 2020 team.