When a U.K.-built rover takes off for Mars in 2020, it will bear the name of Rosalind Franklin, a pioneering British scientist who made vital contributions to our understanding of the structure of DNA.
According to the BBC, a panel selected the name from nearly 36,000 suggestions submitted by the public (“Rovy McRoverFace” was among those that didn’t make the cut). “It is a tremendously fitting tribute that the rover has been named after Rosalind Franklin, as she helped us understand life on Earth and now her namesake will do the same on Mars,” U.K. Science Minister Chris Skidmore said at an event to reveal the rover’s name. European Space Agency astronaut Time Peake stood alongside Skidmore at the event, which was held in the “Mars Yard” testing ground at Airbus Defence and Space’s facilities in Stevenage, England.
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