Follow this link to skip to the main content National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
NASA Banner
NASA Mars Exploration Program
Mars Exploration Program
Home
SPOTLIGHT
06.08.2009

'Curiosity,' Meet Clara

In front, Clara Ma, the student from Lenexa, Kans., who won the Mars Science Laboratory rover-naming contest signs the rover. Behind her, clockwise, are Charles Elachi, director of JPL, Peter Illsley and Christopher Voorhees , JPL engineers for the Mars Science Laboratory project.

Twelve-year-old Clara Ma flew from Kansas to JPL to meet and sign the next rover that will zoom millions of miles to Mars. The trip is Clara's prize for winning an essay contest in which she named the rover "Curiosity."

Clara, a sixth-grader from Sunflower Elementary school in Lenexa, Kan., got a VIP tour of JPL, along with her parents and sister. Inside the building where Curiosity is being assembled, Clara donned a "bunny suit" to step into the clean room and sign her name on the rover. The trip to JPL was provided by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Clara and her family also visited the 'Mars Yard' where future generations of rovers are tested.

Higher Res Images:
Clara and CuriosityFull Size Still Image
Clara Ma visited NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., on June 8, 2009, and is seen here in JPL's Mars Yard with a full-scale model of Curiosity.

More than 9,000 students entered the naming contest.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Clara Ma signs CuriosityFull Size Still Image
Clara Ma signed the rover on June 8, 2009, inside a cleanroom of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where Curiosity is being assembled and tested for launch in 2011. Behind Ma, clockwise, are JPL Director Charles Elachi and Mars Science Laboratory engineers Peter Illsley and Christopher Voorhees.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Essay winner's signature on NASAs curiosity roverFull Size Still Image
As a contest prize Ma won the opportunity to sign the rover while it was being assembled and tested at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a 2011 launch. The part she signed, shown here, is the belly pan of the main body of the rover. Between writing "Clara Ma" and writing "curiosity," she wrote her Chinese name, the character for Ma (horse) followed by two characters meaning Jade from Heaven.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Clara Ma (in front) with Suparna Mukherjee, Julie Townsend, Jaime Waydo (in back row) are featured here in the laboratory where an engineering model of the next Mars rover, Curiosity, is being tested.Full Size Still Image
Clara Ma (in front) with Suparna Mukherjee, Julie Townsend, Jaime Waydo (in back row) are featured here in the laboratory where an engineering model of the next Mars rover, Curiosity, is being tested. Ma won an essay contest and named the rover. She also got to sign her name onto the rover and visit with engineers on the mission.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Pictured here is Clara Ma (in front row on the right) and her sister Remmy Ma with engineers Suparna Mukherjee, Jaime Waydo and then Julie Towsend (back row).Full Size Still Image
Pictured here is Clara Ma (in front row on the right) and her sister Remmy Ma with engineers Suparna Mukherjee, Jaime Waydo and then Julie Towsend (back row). Ma won an essay contest and named the next Mars rover Curiosity. She got to visit JPL and actually sign her name onto the rover where it is being assembled.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

View more photos on Facebook


Return to News Archive


USA.gov
PRIVACY     FAQ     SITEMAP     FEEDBACK     IMAGE POLICY