spaceconnect logo

Roo-ver tops poll to be name of Australian rover

Australia’s first lunar rover will be called Roo-ver after the name triumphed in a poll of 20,000 people.

Roo-ver secured 36 per cent of the vote, beating off competition from three other shortlisted names: Coolamon, Kakirra, and Mateship.

It follows the Australian Space Agency (ASA) urging school children to put forward suggestions in an attempt to encourage young people to choose a career in space.

Intended to launch by 2026, the rover will be part of NASA’s Moon to Mars mission and is designed to collect lunar soil that will eventually be turned into oxygen.


The winning entry was submitted by Siwa from NSW, who said, “Our lunar rover deserves to be named after something iconically Australian, reflecting the Aussie spirit as we launch into this new endeavour.

“A kangaroo is part of the Australian coat of arms, and it’s time for Australian science to take the next leap all the way up into space.”

In March, the federal government revealed it would grant two consortiums – AROSE and ELO2 – $4 million each to develop a prototype.

The rover’s mission to collect soil, known as regolith, is thought to be vital to creating a sustainable human presence on the moon.


Enrico Palermo, head of the ASA, said, “This mission is as much about the journey as the destination.

“Our nation is gaining significant expertise and new technical skills from developing this rover for the harsh environment of space – that we can bring back to improve industries here on Earth.

“Investing in missions like this lifts our whole nation – it makes our economy stronger and industries more advanced, it lifts our standing on the global stage, it keeps our brightest talent here. You cannot underestimate the value of what’s happening before we even get to the moon.”

Space Connect reported last month how ELO2 has created a program to allow children aged 5–12 to recreate their work.

The consortium has teamed up with the One Giant Leap Australia Foundation to allow kids to build a scoop that can simulate collecting soil from the moon.

The program will be run using an online platform to make it accessible to any child across the country.

It follows rival AROSE giving 1,000 Australian students the chance to enrol in an online “space academy” that will teach them vital industry skills.

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

Receive the latest developments and updates on Australia’s space industry direct to your inbox. Subscribe today to Space Connect here.

Receive the latest developments and updates on Australia’s space industry direct to your inbox. Subscribe today to Space Connect.