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Name the next Mars rover!

msl-name-poll

So, you’ve sent YOUR name to Mars (haven’t you? What’s keeping you?! I gave you the link and everything!), what next? Well, how about helping NASA actually name the rover your name is going to be riding?

At the moment, the Mars Science Laboratory is simply known as “MSL”, which is accurate but not exactly catchy. What MSL needs, like every rover and spacecraft before it, is a name, and NASA is inviting people to help them choose that name by voting for their favourite out of nine finalists. All you have to do is go to a NASA website and put the nine names in the order you rank them, it’s as simple as that. 🙂

I think this is a great idea! MSL is a beast of a machine, a Transformer of a spacecraft, a real brute of a rover. It needs a name that’s suitable. Something… “exciting, inspirational, dramatic”! Something that will capture the essence of the mission…

These are the names NASA is asking people to vote on.

msl-name-2

Ah.

I have to be honest here: none of those names are really jumping out at me as being “exciting, inspirational, or dramatic”, and I’m not sure any of them “capture the essence of the mission”. “Sunrise” is just too hippy-huggy for me, and sounds like an orange juice or health drink; “Perception” sounds like something a Vulcan would call a Mars rover; “Curiosity” is a bit too timid-sounding, and is just screaming out to be tagged onto the word “killed” in newspaper headlines as soon as anything goes wrong…

At the moment, I’m leaning towards, and torn between, “Amelia” and “Pursuit”. I like Amelia not because I have a friend called Amelia, and it would be fun to read about her trekking across Mars every day, but because a) I’m wondering if the name was submitted as a tribute to the famous aviator Amelia Earhart, and b) in a very spooky coincidence I bought, from a charity shop the other day, a video of the STAR TREK: VOYAGER episode “The 37’s” which features… Amelia Earhart! No, I’m not joking; I really did buy a STAR TREK: VOYAGER video. I have a soft spot for that series, which I know puts me in a tiny minority of ST fans but…

Anyway, back to the naming contest. As I said, I’m torn between “Amelia” and “Pursuit”. “Pursuit” just sounds, well, sexier somehow, more fitting for a rugged, exciting space mission.

But… sigh… I don’t know, I really don’t, I’m struggling to look at the shortlist and go “I want THAT one!”. What is intriguing though is that the website clearly states that NASA will make the final decision, so maybe they’ll go with something else in the end, I don’t know.

Anyway, why not join in the fun and cast your vote here, especially if there’s a name on that shortlist you really like. It’s great that NASA lets the public be involved in things like this, so go on, give it a go. 🙂

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3 Responses

  1. Great News, Thanks for sharing it… 🙂

  2. Amelia?? Get serious…

  3. This was a Fantastic wordpress post, I will be sure to save this in my Mixx account. Have a awesome evening.

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