Mars Rover

Could This 10-Year-Old Space Fan From Pa. Name the Mars Rover?

His suggestion, 'Tenacity,' is one of nine finalists

Young boy with space books
Photo provided by family

When he was even younger, 10-year-old Eamon Reilly would build rocket ships out of his blocks. He created a model of the solar system out of paper plates, strung them up in his room in York, Pennsylvania and pretended to be an astronaut.

So this space-happy kid leapt at the chance to submit a name for NASA's 2020 Mars Rover. His pick? Tenacity.

Others like it too. Eamon's suggestion for the historic mission is one of nine finalists that the public can vote on in NASA's "Name the Rover Contest."

"When scientists make mistakes they see what they did wrong and then try again," Eamon wrote in an essay for the contest. "If they didn’t have tenacity, Mars Rovers wouldn’t be a thing."

To vote in NASA's "Name the Rover" contest, click here.

Eamon took a scientific approach to choosing his name, he said in a written interview with NASA. He checked out old Rover names and noticed they were named after attributes of scientists. He liked the word "perseverance," but wanted something "fancier," he said. (And someone else submitted "Perseverance" as a name suggestion, anyway.)

Also, Eamon pointed out in his essay, the 2020 Rover will need to be tenacious, too. "The rover will also have to overcome actual obstacles, like boulders on Mars," he wrote. "Even when the rover lands on Mars scientists will still use tenacity to drive it around on Mars’s rocky surface."

Eamon's proud mom and dad, Beth and Dan Reilly, weren't surprised at his interest in the Mars mission.

"His standard 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' answer is an engineer," they wrote in the NASA interview. "He loves to build model robots, and the Mars rover is just about the coolest robot anyone can imagine."

Eamon's a 4th-grader at Sinking Springs Elementary School in the Central York School District, but his family has roots in Bucks County, and his dad says Eamon is a big Eagles fan.

The voting for the poll ends on Monday. Almost 300,000 people have voted in the poll so far, from places as far away from York as Lithuania, Kazakhstan and Palau.

The 2020 Mars Rover is planned to launch in July or August from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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