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Schools could name new moon rover

The ASA will hold a public vote to decide the name of the Australian rover set to land on the moon as soon as 2026.

The space agency hopes the initiative will encourage school children to consider a career in space and has produced a presentation that can be downloaded here.

Intended to launch by 2026, the rover will be part of NASA’s Moon to Mars mission, described as a significant step towards a sustainable human presence on the moon’s surface and a jumping-off point for future missions to Mars.

Both individuals and schools can enter a name and must provide a brief explanation for why they chose it.


The competition is now open and will close on Friday, 20 October, with the entries whittled down to a final four.

A public vote will then take place to decide which of the nominees emerges victorious, with the announcement on Wednesday, 6 December.

The rover will collect lunar soil, known as regolith, and NASA will then attempt to extract oxygen from the sample.

This is set to be a critical step towards one day creating a sustainable human presence on the moon.


It comes after the federal government in March revealed it would grant two consortiums $4 million each to develop a prototype for the lunar rover as part of the landmark Moon to Mars Trailblazer initiative.

The Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE) consortium and the EPE and Lunar Outpost Oceania consortium will each use the investment to develop a semi-autonomous device that could collect regolith soil samples from the moon’s surface for analysis.

AROSE chief executive officer Leanne Cunnold previously said Australia’s expertise in managing remote operations and robotics in complex, dangerous environments gives the nation a leg up in developing space technologies.

“AROSE is a partner-driven organisation with a clear vision to attract the best talent and technology to support local and international space missions,” she said.

“The ripple effect of projects like Trailblazer and the overall benefits they can bring to all Australians cannot be overestimated. Just as the Apollo mission inspired a generation of aspiring astronauts, Trailblazer has the power to motivate our future space scientists, engineers, and tech specialists. They will see Australian smarts, expertise, and technologies in action on the moon, demonstrating Australia’s emerging role in space.”

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.

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