The UK Space Agency has launched a competition to name a rover that is going to Mars to search for signs of life.
Due to launch in 2020, the UK-built rover is part of ESA’s ExoMars mission. It will investigate how Mars has evolved and whether there may be conditions for life.
The ExoMars rover will be the first of its kind to travel across the martian surface and drill down to determine if evidence of life is buried underground, protected from the Sun’s radiation that bombards the surface of the ‘Red Planet’.
The rover will collect samples and analyse them with next-generation instruments – a fully fledged automated laboratory on Mars.
The competition to name the rover was unveiled by ESA astronaut Tim Peake at the Farnborough International Airshow today. [The competition is open only to individuals residing in a member state of the European Space Agency and associate members.]
“Mars is a fascinating destination, a place where humans will one day work alongside robots to gather new knowledge and search for life in our Solar System,” says Tim. “The ExoMars rover is a vital part of this journey of exploration and we are asking you to become part of this exciting mission and name the rover that will scout the martian surface.” [More at link, including how to submit a name]