Local students become semifinalists in Mars rover naming contest

Local News

FILE – This illustration made available by NASA shows the rover Opportunity on the surface of Mars. The exploratory vehicle landed on Jan. 24, 2004, and logged more than 28 miles (45 kilometers) before falling silent during a global dust storm in June 2018. There was so much dust in the Martian atmosphere that sunlight could not reach Opportunity’s solar panels for power generation. (NASA via AP)

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Three New Mexico students have been named semifinalists in the Mars 2020 “Name the Rover” contest.

Maximilian Looft, 17, from Santa Fe High School came up with the name “G.R.I.T.” to reflect the toughness of the mission. Josiah Fidel, 13, from Bosque School chose “Promise” to represent NASA’s ongoing promise to explore new places. Also, 7-year-old Mark Goldman from Manzano Day School chose “Picus” representing the woodpecker which is sacred to the Roman god Mars.

The next round of judging will cut the competition to nine finalists. The grand prize winner will be announced in March.

Click here to view all the submissions.

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