BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - A Gulf Coast teenager has the chance to make her mark in history and possibly name the 2020 Mars Rover.
Abigayle Baldwin, a sophomore at St. Patrick Catholic High School, has been named a national finalist in an essay contest to name the rover. Her submission was named the winner of Mississippi’s high school division.
Baldwin joins 155 students across the U.S. as semifinalists in the “Name the Rover” essay contest. Just one will be selected to win the grand prize of naming the rover and an invitation to see the spacecraft launch in July 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
In Baldwin’s essay, she writes that she looked into Sanskrit for inspiration. “Asrik” is the Sanskrit word for “Blood.”
“I think this is the best name for the Mars Rover of 2020 because it’s easy to pronounce, easy to read, and Mars is called the ‘Red Planet,'” Baldwin wrote in her essay.
Contest organizers received more than 28,000 essay submissions from K-12 students. During the next phase in judging, the field will reduce to just nine finalists, and the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite name later this month.
The nine finalists will talk with a panel of experts, and the grand prize winner will be announced in early March 2020.
You can read Baldwin’s essay submission HERE.