The American space agency has a new name for the rover it will be sending to the Red Planet this summer.
To date, the project has been known only by its code name – Mars 2020.
From now on, it will be referred to as the Perseverance rover.
The name was picked from a shortlist of nine submitted by schoolchildren.
The Perseverance rover will begin the process of trying to bring rocks back to Earth for study.
It will trundle through an equatorial crater, looking for the best samples it can cache for retrieval by a later mission.
Scientists think this will be the best approach to establishing whether or not life has ever exited on Mars.
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Nasa’s naming competition for the robot attracted 28,000 entries, with all submissions accompanied by a short, 150-word essay.
It took volunteers — educators, professionals and space enthusiasts — to whittle the number down to a more manageable list of nine on which the public was asked to vote.
Nasa’s director of science, Thomas Zurbuchen, announced the winner on Thursday.
The name Perseverance was suggested by Alexander Mather, a pupil from Virginia.
The competition follows in the tradition of previous Mars rover missions.
Nasa’s first wheeled robot, which landed on the planet in 1997, was called the Microrover Flight Experiment until a 12-year-old student from Connecticut suggested the name Sojourner, in honour of abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth.
The 2004 rovers Spirit and Opportunity got their names from an Arizona student, and the agency’s most recent vehicle, Curiosity, received its moniker from an 11-year-old Kansas pupil.
Three other missions are due to leave for Mars this year, including a rover from China and an orbiter from the United Arab Emirates.
Europe is also supposed to be sending a rover called Rosalind Franklin but there is currently significant uncertainty over whether it will be ready in time.
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