According to CNN, students have assisted in the naming of Mars rovers since Sojourner debuted in 1997, followed by Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity.
Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's Science Mission Directorate's associate administrator announced the selection of Perseverance at Mather’s school on Thursday.
"Alex's entry captured the spirit of exploration," Zurbuchen said, adding, "Like every exploration mission before, our rover is going to face challenges, and it's going to make amazing discoveries. It's already surmounted many obstacles to get us to the point where we are today: processing for launch.”
According to The New York Times, Perseverance is bound for Mars' Jezero Crater, a geographical feature which contains sediment from an ancient river delta that researchers are hopeful might yield evidence of past life on the Red Planet. Specifically, the rover will collect Martian soil and rock samples which are to be collected and returned to Earth by a future NASA mission.
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