Voting For The Name Of The First Australian Lunar Rover Is Now Open21st Nov 2023
The Australian Space Agency (ASA) is working on a lunar rover project, and Australians have the opportunity to vote for its name. This follows the completion of a shortlist containing four potential options. Now, the final four variants have been revealed and it’s time to vote.
What is the Australian lunar rover?
ASA is working with NASA and local space experts on the lunar rover. This rover is set to launch in 2026 during an upcoming Artemis mission. The rover’s main purpose is to collect lunar soil so that NASA can extract oxygen from it. This project falls under the Trailblazer program within the Moon to Mars initiative, and marks a significant move towards sustainable lunar living. The Australian lunar rover’s launch will be a key step for a lasting human presence on the Moon.
The competition to name the Australian lunar rover
The competition to name the rover attracted entries from over 8,200 people and schools across Australia. It consisted of four stages:
- Tuesday, 5 September – Friday, 20 October: the competition opens via a website survey.
- Monday, 23 October – Friday, 17 November: shortlisting entries.
- Monday, 20 November – Friday, 1 December: public voting via a website survey.
- Wednesday, 6 December: the winning rover name will be announced on the day of the 16th Australian Space Forum in Sydney.
Four variants to vote
The final names “capture a sense of Australian Spirit”, according to the agency. At this point, the Australian Space Agency has shortlisted four names for the new lunar rover.
- Coolamon (Anil, Victoria): drawing inspiration from Australia’s Indigenous heritage and connection to the land, the name “Coolamon” represents a sustainable tool traditionally used for gathering and carrying. It embodies a harmonious balance between practicality and environmental respect.
- Kakirra (Hamilton Secondary College, South Australia): in the Indigenous Kaurna language, “Kakirra” translates to “Moon,” reflecting a connection to celestial elements.
- Mateship (Joseph, Victoria): emphasizes “mateship” as an integral aspect of Australian culture. It fosters a sense of camaraderie shared by people across the entire nation.
- Roo-ver (Siwa, NSW): a clever play on words, “Roo-ver” directly alludes to Australia’s national animal emblem, combining a nod to national identity with advancements in scientific exploration.
To cast your vote online, visit the provided link. The voting period concludes at 11:59 pm AEDT on Friday, 1st December.