NASA’s next robotic explorer to the Red Planet has many things.

  • A ride to space: Launching July 2020 on an Atlas V rocket and landing in February 2021
  • A new, expanded rover design: 2,300 pounds of engineering and science equipment
  • A mission: To answer key questions about the potential for life on Mars

The one thing it’s missing? A name! Currently, the rover’s called “Mars 2020” but that’s a placeholder. This fall, it’s time christen the new rover with its final name for the history books. Battelle and Future Engineers are working with NASA on the Mars 2020 “Name the Rover” contest.

Students can’t submit names quite yet, the portal to sign up to become a judge is ready and waiting ( Judges will be responsible for vetting a few of the thousands of names expected to arrive.

Judges simply need to be a U.S. resident. The expected time commitment is just five hours. Here on the STEMx blog, we’ll be supporting the competition in three ways.

First, be sure to sign up for news about the competition, including the release of the student portal.

Second, Battelle is coordinating with a range of partners to help recruit for the contest. The following organizations have already agreed to support the contest:

Finally, these organizations are pulling together rover-related learning materials to share with educators. Have a resource you think could help? Post it in the comments below.

12 thoughts on “Help choose the name of the next Mars rover”

  1. Prasad. D. Toal says:

    Name I suggest for rover “saMspand” it means “pulse of life”.

  2. prasad Toal says:

    Name of rover can be saMspand

  3. Nick says:

    Hey! I’m a retired Combat Engineer in the US Army. In order for us to help get the infantry to an objective we have to breach obstacles. I think you should name the next rover ‘Breacher’ because it is breaching obstacles in the final frontier.

  4. Chris Wainwright says:

    Info on the Mars 2020 mission:

    List of past artificial (man made) objects (spacecraft/probes) on Mars:

    I am not a student but, a name I’d like to suggest is “Discoverer”. Any student is welcome to submit it.

  5. Santosh Lamsal says:

    Everest Rover

  6. Patrick ODonnell says:

    Love to help judge the contest!!! I worked 38 years in Aerospace for Martin Marietta, NASA, JPL and Lockheed Martin. I supported the shuttle program, Titan I, III an IV programs. Extensively involved in the Mars programs and the Cassini program. I was on the small team that built the MMU unit and many spacecraft. It would be an honor to support young minds.

  7. DR Spires says:


    B – Baron
    A – Area
    R – Reconnaissance
    S – Surveyor
    O – On
    O – Outlandish
    M – Mission

    Take it to heart and let it fly!

  8. DR Spires says:

    How about:

    C – Courier
    A – Awl
    R – Reconnaissance
    L – Learning

    S – Surveyor
    A – And
    G – Ground
    A – Analyzer
    N – Navigator

    …Or perhaps:

    B – Baron
    A – Area
    R – Reconnaissance
    S – Surveyor
    O – On
    O – Outlandish
    M – Mission

    Yeah, I can get into this…

  9. Amit says:

    “manav yaan” which in Sanskrit means humankind vehicle.

  10. Rekha B Pai says:

    I am not a student. I am fascinated about exploration on the planet “MARS.”
    I was thrilled when I received an email to suggest a name for the “MARS ROVER.”
    I would like to suggest the name “ROHITH” for the rover.
    “ROHITH” is the name of GOD who is a chariot rider. This name also symbolizes the color ‘RED’ as well as ‘RAYS OF LIGHT.’
    As the NASA rover is riding on the planet Mars which is called the ‘Red Planet’ with the aim of shedding light on the various facets of the planet, I thought of this name – “ROHITH – THE ROVER” and the nick name could be “RO-RO.”

  11. Kari McGann says:

    Hi! I would love to agree to assist with the judging of the 2020 Mars Rover. I am a Superintendent of Schools in New Jersey and a doctoral student researching female positive STEM identity.

    1. Rob Evans says:

      Great Ms. McGann! You can register as a judge on the website or here. – Rob at Battelle

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