Malvika Ganapathy, a local elementary student, has been selected a semifinalist for the Mars 2020 “Name the Rover” contest. Malvika’s name will enter the next round of consideration to become the official name of the Mars 2020 rover.

This student’s entry was selected as California’s winner in the elementary category. The suggested name, Revelar, and Malvika’s essay can be viewed at https://www.futureengineers.org/nametherover/gallery/24332.

The Mars 2020 Rover has entered the final stages of preparation for launch. The currently unnamed Mars 2020 Rover is a robotic scientist weighing more than 2,300 pounds. It will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. The spacecraft is targeted for a July 2020 launch and is expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021.

Battelle and Future Engineers of California were selected to conduct the Mars 2020 “Name the Rover” contest in partnership with NASA. The student contest is part of NASA’s efforts to engage the public in its missions to the Moon and Mars.

Submitted by Robert Evans

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