Central student is a NASA rover finalist

Anna Lumsargis, Editor-in-Chief of On The Prowl

Eamon Reilly is currently a fourth grader at Sinking Springs who could make history by naming NASA’s Mars Rover. He entered the rover naming contest, with “Tenacity.” 

“I chose [tenacity] because I was thinking of a fancier word for perseverance, because I knew the word perseverance from my old school’s motto,” said Reilly. 

He learned about the contest in school while they were doing a Mars rover unit. During which, his teacher encouraged him to enter. Over 30,000 K-12 students entered and now Reilly has become one of the nine finalists. 

“ I was really happy and [my family] were all looking at the computer and we scrolled down and I saw my name on the NASA website, then I ran around the whole entire house because I was so excited,” said Reilly. 

The other finalist names chosen include Endurance, Promise, Perseverance, Vision, Ingenuity, Fortitude, Clarity and Courage. Voting was open in January, but the winner will not be announced until March. 

Eamon, 10, shows off his NASA stickers he got while visiting the planetarium. Photo by Bill Kalina.

The next Mars rover will try to find evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars and will be able to collect rock and dirt samples for further study. Furthering this study will help determine if there is life on Mars.

If Eamon wins, NASA will fly him to Cape Canaveral, FL, this July to watch the rover launch.

“I think it would be really cool to see the rocket launch and if I name this Mars rover I could be working on the next one. If I would get a job at NASA I would want to be an engineer,” said Reilly. 

Reilly said that science is his favorite subject because it explains how stuff works. He hopes to pursue it in the future. 

“I like science because you learn why things are the way they are. For example, I didn’t know how electricity worked until I learned about it in science class,” said Reilly.  

All of Sinking Springs has been supportive and voted for his rover name on the NASA website, and some of his peers even say he’s famous. 

“I walked into an assembly and everyone started cheering. My teacher said here he is the one, the only, Eamon.”