Name the Next Mars Rover

Participate in a nationwide contest giving K-12 students in U.S. schools a chance to make history by naming the Mars 2020 rover. Contest opens in August 2019.
Name the Rover Essay Contest

You Can Name the Rover!

Coming Soon - August 2019

Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade in U.S. schools will have a chance to make history by naming the Mars 2020 rover. This opportunity will open in August 2019. Read more about the contest.

Frequently Asked Questions


Who can participate?

The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States who are registered students in a U.S. school, grades Kindergarten through 12th grade (including U.S. Territories and schools operated by the U.S. for the children of American personnel overseas).

Are participating students divided in age groups?

Yes. Entries will be divided in three groups: Kindergarten to third grade; fourth to seventh grade; and eight to 12th grade.

How long are the essays accompanying each entry?

The maximum number of words is 150.

What happens if more than one student proposes the same name?

The judges will compare the essays written in defense of each suggested name. Only one student will win the grand prize.

May I send my proposed name and essay via U.S. Mail?

No. Only online entries are accepted. No exceptions.

I'm a minor. Can I enter the contest on my own?

No. Entrants at home must get a parent's or legal guardian's permission to enter. Entrants in class must be linked with their teacher's class code to enter.

Why can only U.S. students participate?

As a U.S. government agency, funded by taxpayers, our resources are limited to U.S. citizens. However, there will be a public voting component open for all to vote on the top entries. This vote is informational only, not decisional.

I'm not a U.S. student, can I still get involved?

Yes, you can participate in the public poll. If you are 18+ years of age and a U.S. resident, you can participate by judging essays.

One of my parents works for NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) or Caltech.
Am I eligible to participate?

Sorry, no. Children of NASA, JPL or Caltech employees are not eligible.

One of my parents works for one of the sponsors of the contest.
Am I eligible to participate?

Yes.

Can we enter the naming contest as a group/pair?

No. Only names proposed by individual students will be considered.

Can I submit more than one name?

No, each student can only submit one name.

Can home-schooled students enter this essay contest?

Yes.

Are there any tips to make me a more competitive applicant?

We encourage you to be yourself. Learn about Mars and the challenges faced by the rovers we send there. Be creative, and have fun giving the next Mars rover an appropriate name.

Will the 2020 Mars rover be named by a student?

Grand Prize Winner's submitted name may be used to name the Mars 2020 rover. However, NASA has no obligation to use the winning name.

Where I can find more information on the Mars 2020 mission?

To keep up with the latest news on the Mars 2020 mission, visit: mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/. More details will be provided once the contest opens.


Last updated on 8/8/2019