Alabama student names NASA’s Mars helicopter

'Ingenuity' allows people to accomplish amazing things, student says as part of essay contest. Another student picked 'Perseverance' for rover's name. Helicopter and rover will explore Mars together.


National News

April 30, 2020 - 9:38 AM

From left, NASA Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWit, ISS Deputy Director Robyn Gatens and NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Bill Gerstenmaier speak during a press conference to address the opening of the International Space Station to expanded commercial activities. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS)

NORTHPORT, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama high school student named NASA’s first Mars helicopter that will be deployed to the red planet later this summer.

Ingenuity, the name submitted by Vaneeza Rupani, was selected for the 4 pound solar-powered helicopter, NASA said in a statement on Wednesday. The name coined by the junior at Tuscaloosa County High School in Northport was just one of 28,000 names submitted in NASA’s “Name the Rover” essay contest for K-12 students across the United States.

“The ingenuity and brilliance of people working hard to overcome the challenges of interplanetary travel are what allow us all to experience the wonders of space exploration,” Rupani wrote in her essay. “Ingenuity is what allows people to accomplish amazing things, and it allows us to expand our horizons to the edges of the universe.”

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