TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, Ala (WIAT) — Vaneeza Rupani and her family are in Cape Canaveral this week to watch the launch of NASA’s next mission to Mars- Mars 2020 Perseverance.
Rupani entered an essay contest to name the new rover.
Although she did not win the actual name of the rover, NASA chose her name “Ingenuity” as the name of the rover’s helicopter.
Rupani said she never imagined this would happen and it’s her dream to one day work in the space field.
“I thought of ingenuity to try to think how, how is it possible to do something as incredible as doing science on another planet and I thought ingenuity encapsulated the intelligence and creativity it takes to do that,” Rupani said.
Rupani, who is a rising senior at Tuscaloosa County High School, said this is her first time at Kennedy Space Center and is so excited to watch the launch in person.
“I have no idea what to expect but I’m just really excited and it’s going to be big, loud, bright but I’m excited to see it. I get chills every time I hear it, to use the official name. It’s so exciting that I’ve done something that is permanent here,” she said.
NASA said the rover will search for signs of ancient microbial life, characterize the planet’s geology and climate, and collect carefully selected and documented rock and sediment samples for possible return to Earth.
The launch of perseverance is set for Thursday.
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