Perseverance is the name given to NASA’s next Mars rover, which is part of the Mars rover mission by NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. The name was announced by the associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen as part of a celebration at Lake Braddock Secondary School. But why is it named Perseverance? Take a look at the Mars rover name’s origin.
Why is Mars Rover named Perseverance?
Thomas was visiting the Lake Braddock Secondary School to congratulate Alexander Mather, a 14-year-old seventh-grader who participated in ‘Name the Rover’ essay contest organised by NASA. Mather’s essay was the winning entry of the total 28,000 entries submitted by K-12 students from every state and territory in the United States. It was Mather’s essay that gave Mars 2020 rover its new identity.
Alexander Mather’s essay on Perseverance
“Curiosity. InSight. Spirit. Opportunity. If you think about it, all of these names of past Mars rovers are qualities we possess as humans. We are always curious, and seek opportunity. We have the spirit and insight to explore the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But, if rovers are to be the qualities of us as a race, we missed the most important thing. Perseverance. We as humans evolved as creatures who could learn to adapt to any situation, no matter how harsh. We are a species of explorers, and we will meet many setbacks on the way to Mars. However, we can persevere. We, not as a nation but as humans, will not give up. The human race will always persevere into the future.”
When Mather was asked as to what led him to choose the name, he explained that the Mars mission was just as much about humanity as it was about exploring the Red Planet. He added that the Mars missions require a great deal of perseverance, however, to him, the mission was a lot about being human. The 14-year-old also noted that perseverance is one of our greatest qualities.
After winning the contest, Mather was also given the opportunity to interact with several members of the Perseverance team, who he described as his role models in life.