You can vote to name NASA's next Mars rover

You have until Jan. 28 at midnight to vote for the name of NASA's next Mars rover. (NASA JPL)
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WASHINGTON (WTHR) — NASA's student naming contest for the next Mars rover moniker has been whittled down to just nine names, and you have until Jan. 28 at midnight EST to get your votes in!

The space agency called on K-12 students across the U.S. to have their say in proposing names for the next space craft which is headed to the Red Planet. The list of names available to vote on are much more exciting than the current one: "Mars 2020," which Space.com says refers to the craft's launch window (it has been extended from July through August of this year).

Here are the fun names, and the coinciding names and grade level of the students who put them up for a vote.

  • Promise, K-4, Amira Shanshiry of Massachusetts.
  • Perseverance, 5-8, Alexander Mather of Virginia.
  • Vision, 5-8, Hadley Green of Mississippi.
  • Clarity, 5-8, Nora Benitez of California.
  • Ingenuity, 9-12, Vaneeza Rupani of Alabama.
  • Endurance, K-4, Oliver Jacobs of Virgina.
  • Tenacity, K-4, Eamon Reilly of Pennsylvania.
  • Fortitude, 9-12, Anthony Yoon of Oklahoma.
  • Courage, 9-12, Tori Gray of Louisiana.

Vote for the name you want given to the next Mars rover at go.nasa.gov/name2020.

NASA officials released a statement saying, "after the poll closes, the nine student finalists will discuss their rover names with a panel," which will include astronaut Jessica Watkins, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab rover driver Nick Wiltsie and also Clara Ma, who named the Mars rover Curiosity when she was in sixth grade.

The next Mars rover, which is reportedly the size of a car, should touch down on Mars in February 2021.

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