July 30, 2020, by Victor Rivera
Next Mars Rover Named by Scout
The next Mars rover’s naming rights belong to a Scout from the National Capital Area Council named Alex. Our partners at Bryan on Scouting interviewed him and found out how Scouting helped this young man. NASA’s naming competition had an initial pool of 28,000 which makes this 13-year-old Scout’s victory even more impressive.
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Here’s the plan: Alexander Mather will get a NASA internship, graduate with an engineering degree and then land a job at NASA. After a few promotions at NASA, he’ll apply to be an astronaut.
First, though, Alex needs to finish seventh grade.
Alex’s goals may seem pretty lofty, but the 13-year-old believes in the power of having a vision.
That motivation, which Alex says he learned to master in Scouting, helps explain why Alex got to name the next Mars rover.
Alex, a Scout in Troop 1853 of the National Capital Area Council, submitted the winning name — Perseverance — in NASA’s “Name the Rover” contest. Perseverance is heading to the red planet this summer.
“I did not think I would be contributing to something that important until I’m out of college, or maybe in an internship,” Alex tells Bryan on Scouting. “Yet at the age of 13, I named this mission. I’m honored to have been selected out of all the amazing entries submitted.”
To be considered, Alex wrote an essay (which you can read here) and had to survive several rounds of judging and voting. The initial pool of 28,000 submissions was reduced to 155 semifinalists and then nine finalists.
“I don’t believe that there was a single wrong answer out of the nine finalists submitted,” Alex says. “Having my submission chosen out of those amazing entries was incredible.”
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