Arlington, VA

It’s T-minus 15 hours until voting closes on a contest for students to name NASA’s next Mars rover.

One of the submission happens to be from an Arlington fourth grader.

Barrett Elementary student Oliver (a last name was not provided) submitted a name that has become a finalist in the contest: ENDURANCE.

Here’s what Oliver wrote about the name in an essay:

“Endurance” is the right name for the Mars 2020 Rover. The Endurance was the ship of Ernest Shackleton, a great leader and one of the first Antarctic explorers. Antarctica and Mars both have a harsh and unforgiving surface and environment. The Endurance was on a scientific mission, just like Mars 2020. No matter what went wrong, Shackleton stuck with it. I know the NASA team will do the same for the Mars 2020 mission.

I think about space all the time. I love watching NASA TV. My favorite events were New Horizons, ISS space walks, and the Mars Insight landing. My school was the first NASA Explorer School in the state of Virginia.

Shackleton’s journey inspired kids to explore over a century ago, but “Endurance” needs a second chance to survive! Today, we are so excited for Mars exploration and soon, the first human to step foot on Mars.

Oliver’s was among more than 28,000 essays submitted. Other finalists include CLARITY, TENACITY, INGENUITY, VISION, PROMISE, PERSEVERANCE, FORTITUDE, and COURAGE.

Voting closes at midnight tonight.

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