Australia has chosen.
Roo-ver has secured a place in history as the name of Australia’s first lunar rover, which will launch to the Moon with NASA on an Artemis mission later this decade.
Close to 20,000 Australians voted on the shortlist of four names, which also included Coolamon, Kakirra and Mateship.
The final four names were chosen from more than 8,000 submissions from around the nation.
Roo-ver, which was submitted by Siwa from New South Wales, secured 36% of the vote making it the clear favourite for the rover at the heart of Australia’s ‘boldest adventure yet’.
The big reveal coincides with the announcement of funding for two new projects that will see Australia further contribute to NASA’s Moon to Mars architecture (more details on page 3).
Quotes Attributable to Australian Space Agency Head, Enrico Palermo:
“This competition has been an important way for us to bring the Australian people with us on what is our ‘boldest adventure yet’. With Roo-ver we can continue to inspire Australians by showing the boundary pushing work being done right here, and the ways that benefits our everyday lives.
“This mission is as much about the journey as the destination. Our nation is gaining significant expertise and new technical skills from developing this rover for the harsh environment of space – that we can bring back to improve industries here on Earth. Investing in missions like this lifts our whole nation – it makes our economy stronger and industries more advanced, it lifts our standing on the global stage, it keeps our brightest talent here. You cannot underestimate the value of what’s happening before we even get to the Moon.
“The Australian Government is working to strengthen Australia’s robotics capability, and this mission is one of the most advanced robotics projects happening in our country right now.”
More about the Mission
The Australian Space Agency, in partnership with NASA, is working with Australia’s space industry to design and build an Australian-made, semi-autonomous rover to go to the Moon as part of the Artemis Program.
Drawing on Australia’s world-leading remote operations expertise, the rover will collect lunar soil, known as regolith, and NASA will attempt to extract oxygen from the sample. This is a key step towards a sustainable human presence on the Moon.
Two Australian consortiums – AROSE and ELO2 – are currently working on early-stage rover concepts. The Australian Space Agency will assess and then select one of the consortia to design and develop the fully realised rover for the mission to the Moon.
Roover Fast Facts
- • Roo-ver is expected to weigh around 20 kgs and roughly the size of a check-in suitcase.
- • At this stage, Roo-ver is likely to land in the South Pole region of the Moon.
- • Roo-ver is expected to operate for 14 Earth days (equal to about half of one Moon day).
Snapshot of other entries
Most popular: Matilda, Skippy, Bluey, Walkabout, Wombat, Rover McRoverface.
Aussie slang: Fair Dinkum, Bonza, She’ll be right, Dropbear, Mate, Strewth, PavRover.
Notable Aussies: Burt ‘Moonface’ Newton, Rove-r McManus, Steve Irwin, Sam Kerr, Blinky Bill, Barassi (the first ruck-rover in the AFL), Red Dog, Mad Max and Katherine Bennell-Pegg (our very own astronaut in training).
Also received multiple entries for names such as Bruce, Steve, Bob, Diana, Trevor, Sheila and Ruby.