The internet is full of important life lessons; things you really shouldn’t do, such as lighting yourself on fire for a fleeting moment of internet fame or reaching out to the masses to help you name something.
But it seems as though the UK Space Agency has apparently not been paying attention to the internet for a few years, and is asking for the public’s help in naming its forthcoming Mars rover.
ESA astronaut Tim Peake, who spent some time on the International Space Station, is leading the initiative to find a memorable name for the six-wheeled rover that will be crawling over the surface of Mars starting in 2021.
Airbus, which is actually building the rover, has set up a page on its website for entries, but don’t bother trying to be clever with Marsy McMarsface, or Spacey McSpaceface entries. The UK Space Agency is overseeing the contest, and since it’s footing the bill for the rover, it will be using a panel of experts to judge and make the final naming choice.
The person who comes up with the winning name will have the honour of hearing it repeated for decades to come, and maybe even seeing it in the history books, assuming the rover survives its journey and manages to actually explore the red planet.
The winner will also be rewarded with a tour of the Airbus facility in Stevenage, north of London, where the rover is being assembled and tested before it’s blasted into space in 2020.