Kicker – Naming the new Mars rover

NICK EICHER, HOST: NASA is preparing to launch a new Mars rover later this year. But first, they have to answer an important question: What to call it?

AUDIO: The Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

Nah, too cartoony.

No, NASA sought K-to-12 student input from across the country for possible names.

And out of 30,000 essays received, they’ve narrowed the options to nine. 

Here they are:

  • Endurance
  • Tenacity
  • Promise
  • Perseverance
  • Vision
  • Clarity
  • Ingenuity
  • Fortitude
  • Courage

And you can vote for the winner at

But I think what’s clear here is that student input is much better than surveys of the general public. Perhaps you remember a few years ago, the Natural Environment Research Council asked the public to name a research vessel. 

And the result they came up with: RSS Boaty McBoatface. ’Nuff said.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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