Nine finalists in Mars 2020 rover naming contest

Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space cover

After being in print for twenty years, the Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space, covering everything that was learned on every single space mission in the 20th century, has finally gone out of print.

I presently have my last four hardback copies available for sale. The book sold new for about $90. To get your own autographed copy of this now rare collector's item, please send a $120 check (which includes shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to

Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

"Useful to space buffs and generalists, comprehensive but readable, Bob Zimmerman's Encyclopedia belongs front and center on everyone's bookshelf." -- Mike Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut


"The Chronological Encylopedia of Discoveries in Space is no passionless compendium of information. Robert Zimmerman's fact-filled reports, which cover virtually every spacecraft or probe to have ventured into the heavens, relate the scientific and technical adventure of space exploration enthusiastically and with authority." -- American Scientist

The nine finalists in the Mars 2020 rover naming contest have been chosen, out of 28,000 entries from schools across the United States.

The nine candidate names were made possible by the “Name the Rover” essay contest, which invited students in kindergarten through 12th grade from across the United States to come up with a fitting name for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover and write a short essay about it.

More than 28,000 essays were submitted after the contest began on Aug. 28 last year. A diverse panel of nearly 4,700 judge volunteers, composed of educators, professionals and space enthusiasts from all around the country, narrowed the pool down to 155 deserving semifinalists from every state and territory in the country.

The public now gets to vote for their favorite, the choices of which are: Endurance, Tenacity, Promise, Perseverance, Vision, Clarity, Ingenuity, Fortitude, Courage. For the next week you can vote here. NASA will then take the poll results into consideration before making its final choice.

My personal favorite is Endurance. Vote for your own.



  • Diane Wilson

    I think Opportunity would vote for Endurance.

  • Jim Davis

    I find it interesting that there are no votes from China. Is China blocking the site?

    There are even votes from Iran.

    Also, Turkey seems to be voting at a brisk pace.

  • sippin_bourbon

    “Wild Irish” failed to make the final list…hmmm.

    So, kinda lean toward Promise.

  • Scott M.

    My vote’s for Endurance as well, due to the connection to Ernest Shackleton

  • Wodun

    It’s rigged, why bother voting?

    Are the elites in the scientific community still upset that boatymcboatface was better than any of the names they could imagine?

    Even when they give a list of approved names, they rig the outcome. This is a symptom of the slide toward totalitarianism we are experiencing right now.

  • Sippin_bourbon


  • Jason Lewis

    I still laugh out loud about “Boaty McBoatface.” I see that the voting in this case is merely for consideration. Here are my suggestions:

    MR005: Typical scientist-given name. Mars Rover Number 5. Extra zeros to accommodate a ridiculous number of additional rovers with the same naming convention.

    Stinky: I’d like to hear this repeated on the news

    Gary: Spongebob’s pet snail. The rover is slow, like a snail

    Trump: Would reduce the population of the earth because of the exploding heads. Scoldilocks would approve of that because of the reduction in carbon foot print.

    Shakleton: Famous Antarctic explorer

    Super Tortoise: It’s super slow. There are no copyright issues with this name.

  • hondo

    Hondo works for me – just add a robotic dog named Sam (maybe Japanese?)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *