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Ten finalists in public Chinese contest to name Mars rover

The new colonial movement: The Chinese public vote to pick the name of the Mars rover presently flying to Mars on its Tianwen-1 orbiter has now been narrowed to ten finalists.

The public can now vote for their favorites from a shortlist of 10 names for the Tianwen-1 mission rover.

The 10 names — Hongyi, Qilin, Nezha, Chitu, Zhurong, Qiusuo, Fenghuolun, Zhuimeng, Tianxing and Xinghuo — are taken from ideas including Chinese mythological figures, Confucian concepts and legendary animals.

Notably Hongyi, from the Confucian Analects, can be translated to “persistence” or perseverance, giving a similar meaning to the NASA Perseverance rover also heading for Mars. Others meanings include:

Zhurong: a god of fire
Qilin: a Chinese unicorn
Chitu: red rabbit
Qiusuo: to explore, referencing an ancient poem
Zhuimeng: to pursue a dream
Nezha: a mythological hero
Fenghuolun: Nezha’s weapons
Tianxing: referring to the motion of celestial bodies
Xinghuo: spark

Personally, I hope they pick Chitu (Red Rabbit), as that matches nicely with the name of China’s lunar rover, Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit).

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


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