Seventeen-year-old Indian-origin girl Vaneeza Rupani, who is a high school junior residing in Northport, Alabama now holds the credit for naming NASA’s first Mars helicopter. She earned the honour after submitting her essay into ‘Name the Rover’ contest run by NASA. By Kumar Shree

The National Aeronautics Space Agency (NASA) announced the name of its its first Mars helicopter on April 29, and it’s called ‘Ingenuity’. Out of the 28,000 essays submitted to NASA by K-12 students from across the US, Vaneeza Rupani’s suggestion was confirmed as the final name.


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Our Mars helicopter has a new name! Meet ‘Ingenuity’. Student Vaneeza Rupani came up with the name during our ‘name the rover’ contest. ‘Ingenuity’ will ride to the Red Planet with @NASAPersevere to attempt the first powered flight on another world:,” NASA tweeted while declaring the result.

NASA also quoted Rupani’s writing from her submission. It reads, “The ingenuity and brilliance of people working hard to overcome the challenges of interplanetary travel are what allows us all to experience the wonders of space exploration. Ingenuity is what allows people to accomplish amazing things, and it allows us to expand our horizons to the edges of the universe.”


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The space agency’s website also has a quote from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine saying, “‘Ingenuity’ encapsulates the values that our helicopter tech demo will showcase for everyone when it takes off next year as the first aircraft on another planet’s surface. It took a lot of hard and ingenious work to get the helicopter ready and then placed on the rover, and there’s a lot more going to be required. I was happy we had another great name from the naming contest finalists from which I was able to select something so representative of this exciting part of our next mission to Mars.”

NASA had earlier finalised on the name ‘Perseverance’ as suggested by a seventh-grade student Alexander Mather. However, given so many other good suggestions received as entries to the contest, it decided to choose a different one, and that’s how the name ‘Ingenuity’ was finalised.

Related: #SomeGoodNews: You Can Soon Dream Escape To Mars In A Helicopter!