Individuals and schools are being invited to name the upcoming Australian-made rover, which will be deployed on the moon to collect soil samples for NASA.
Two Australian consortiums, AROSE and ELO2 are developing lunar rover concepts under Stage One of the Trailblazer program. Each was awarded $4 million in March to design early-stage prototypes.
The winner will design and develop a vehicle in Stage Two, with the as-yet-unnamed rover to head to the moon as soon as 2026.
The Australian Space Agency opened a competition to name the successful team’s rover on Tuesday, with entries closing on October 20. A shortlist of four names will be put to a public vote on November 20 and a winner named on December 6 at the Australian Space Forum in Sydney.
“We’re looking for names that really capture Aussie ingenuity, Aussie spirit, something that’s creative and inspirational,” said Australian Space Agency head Enrico Palermo.
The ASA said names would be judged on creativity, and advised that they be:
* Short and easily identifiable;
* Without acronyms; and
* Unique (not easily confused with other existing names.)
Nominations can be submitted via the Australian Space Agency’s website, www.space.gov.au
The agency is working with NASA and the local space industry to develop a rover through Trailblazer. The rover will be transported to the moon under the Artemis mission.
The semi-autonomous vehicle will operated remotely to collect lunar soil (regolith) for attempted oxygen extraction at a NASA-provided processing facility. The ASA says this is “a key step towards a sustainable human presence on the Moon.”
Picture: artist’s impression of the rover (supplied)