Press Release

Homestretch for NASA & LEGO “Name the Rovers Contest”

By SpaceRef Editor
January 14, 2003
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NASA is reminding America’s school kids that time is
running out on a chance to make history by naming two rovers
being launched to explore Mars. The NASA “Name the Mars
Rovers” contest closes January 31, 2003, so there is still
time to submit the winning entries.

The robotic explorers are part of NASA’s upcoming Mars
Exploration Rover (MER) mission. The twin rovers will land
at two different locations on the mysterious red planet to
explore the surface in search of answers about the history
of water on Mars.

The NASA “Name the Rovers” contest is a collaborative effort
between NASA and the LEGO Company. The LEGO Company is
managing the contest in conjunction with The Planetary
Society. The contest provides students with the unique
opportunity to suggest a name for each of the two Mars-bound
rovers, temporarily known as MER-A and MER-B. The rovers are
scheduled to launch in May and June 2003 respectively. The
rovers are scheduled to land on Mars in January 2004.

“We are eagerly looking forward to some really creative and
innovative ideas from students, as they compete to name the
next Mars rovers and become part of history,” said Dave
Lavery, Program Executive for Solar System Exploration at
NASA Headquarters.

“The LEGO Company is dedicated to furthering hands-on
discovery, playful learning, and the boundless frontiers of
imagination. Space exploration also embraces these
qualities, which is why the LEGO Company is so pleased to
partner with NASA,” said Brad Justus, LEGO Senior Vice
President. “By involving children actively in the Mars
mission, through the ‘Name the Rovers’ contest and with
other related activities, we hope to help excite and inspire
the next generation of space explorers, ” he said.

The NASA “Name the Rovers” contest is open to students 5 to
18 years of age who attend a U.S. school and are enrolled in
the current school season.

Submissions must include suggested names for both rovers and
a 50-500 word essay justifying why the students believe the
names should be chosen. The contest has many educational
benefits and encourages students to do research for their
essays, learn more about Mars and space exploration.

The contest is open for submissions through January 31,
2003. NASA will announce the contest winners prior to
launching the rovers in the spring of 2003.

Information about the contest is available at:

Information about the Mars Exploration Rovers is at:

SpaceRef staff editor.