BURKE, V.A. (CNN) – NASA’s next Mars Rover has a new name – Perseverance.
The name came as the result of a contest NASA held that drew more than 28,000 entries.
The rover has been under construction for years. The images of Mars’ surface in some NASA animations came from the Curiosity Rover.
Students representing every state, ranging in age from kindergarten to twelfth grade, submitted their favorite names.
The winner was a seventh grader at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia.
Alexander Mather not only gets to name the rover, he will receive an invitation to travel with his family to Cape Canaveral.
There, he will witness the rover being launched into space to begin its mission this summer.
Alexander explains why he came up with the name Perseverance.
“To me, Perseverance means that the inevitable setbacks that we are going to face on the way to Mars, humans won’t give up. Humans will keep on sending new missions. Humans will keep on improving technologies and humans will eventually live on other places in the solar system and maybe beyond. And that’s just so important for all of our futures.”
Up until two years ago, Alexander was more focused on video games than anything else.
But a trip to space camp changed all that and inspired him to look to the heavens instead.