There’s no denying that the Mars rover was a great success in both raising awareness of interplanetary travel as in scientific numbers. The way NASA promoted the mission via social media avenues like Twitter and displayed their flawless engineering and execution has raised the interest levels in the Mars program quite a bit.

According to a recent post at, NASA is already working on the next rover, and is going to further cash in on the public’s interest by engaging students in an essay contest, with the reward for winning being the privilege of naming the next rover.

K-12 students can write a short essay suggesting a name, and may even win a trip to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to meet the engineers who built it. The winner will also have the chance to sign his or her name on the rover prior to its launch.

Have a kid interested in traveling to Mars (at least in name only)? You can find the details at the JPL website.